As COVID-19 cases rise amidst the third wave of the pandemic, restrictions are being increased for schools and sports. With fall and winter sports being postponed, some students travel out-of-state to participate in states with looser restrictions than Illinois.
High school sports such as wrestling and football, have been postponed, limiting opportunities for student athletes. Among the affected athletes is junior Sharon Leon, a wrestler on the DGS girl’s team, who has traveled out of state to find competition outside of Illinois.
“I wasn’t allowed to participate in any sports in Illinois, so my only outlet was to go out-of-state; that was my only option,” Leon said.
Some coaches such as cross country assistant coach Sean Senf think that it is important that student athletes have the opportunity to compete in their sports for college opportunities.
“The risk is low for potentially getting a scholarship, not paying as much for college or even getting into a college,” Senf said.
Tournaments are run differently than before the pandemic, with social distancing guidelines now being put in place. But with enclosed spaces, technical difficulties can become a struggle.
“It was encouraged that we wore masks when we were not wrestling, but obviously that’s kind of hard since we’re really close in contact in that sport, [wrestling]’s not like other sports where you can kind of like stay away from each other at all,” Leon said.
The 2020-2021 Illinois wrestling has been moved to the summer of 2021 as of Oct. 30. DGS Wrestling will not have any public events until then.