The start of spring sports leads to an influx in team quarantines


Photo by Danielle Stockwell

The York Girls Soccer Team participates in pre-season work before their tryouts on April 5. Several soccer athletes were quarantined due to COVID-19 exposure.

CeCe Lampa, Co Editor-in-Chief of TIY

Riding high after a third-place finish at the sectional tournament, the York Varsity Cheer Team was eager to compete at the state level, heading in hopeful for great success. However, after team members were exposed to COVID-19, the entire team quarantined and was not able to film a new video for the IHSA State competition.

However, the cheer team was not alone in their quarantine. Two winter sports teams quarantined during their season, and since the start of the spring sports season, five teams have quarantined due to exposure of COVID-19. 

“Once there is a positive test or close contact with someone that is positive, the Athletic Department quarantines the sport, level, group or pod of athletes for 48 hours to investigate,” Assistant Principal for Athletics Rob Wagner said.  “The Health Services Team (nurses/admin) take over and contact trace. Health Services then initiates who has to quarantine and who may return to school and athletics.” 

Each team had a different experience with their quarantine, some missing essential training days. Varsity Football Coach Mike Fitzgerald expressed challenges for the team when their only opportunity to practice in-person was limited due to a quarantine.

“On the Varsity level, we were quarantined during the fall during contact days,” Fitzgerald said. “This was really tough to handle because our contact days were our main way of not only preparing for our upcoming season but was our only source of connecting physically and not over zoom. Plus, the quarantine provided another hurdle to overcome and cast more doubt on whether we would have a season or not.”

For other teams, their quarantine was less consequential, resulting in only one day of missing practice and class.

“We were just doing our pre-season work, but they called us out of class on Thursday,” freshman Reilly Costello said. “Then, only half of us had to leave school and quarantine for 48 hours. Later that night, they sent an email saying we didn’t have to quarantine anymore.”

As teams were informed of a close contact case, they would have to miss practices and school, resulting in a lot of time to reflect on the quarantine. For junior Kara Jensen, there was a large fear factor with the threat of COVID-19.

“It was a little scary,” Jensen said. “I started overthinking everywhere I had gone since softball, and who I could’ve come in contact with. It’s nerve-wracking that it could impact our season after already not having one last year so we’re all trying to stay safe and have no more quarantining.

Although space apart and the uncertainty can be difficult for students, many coaches have seen an increased appreciation for the sport and for one another.

“Those who were in the program last year have forged strong bonds with everything we have overcome during the pandemic,” Varsity Softball Coach Brendan Holba said. “I think our closeness is going to carry us through whatever adversity we may face on the field.”