COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty when it comes to whether or not there will be a highschool sports season this year. On January 6th the Washington Interscholastic Athletics Association scheduled fall sports to be played on February 1st, but according to governor Inslee’s rules the season is still dependent on the COVID-19 pandemic getting significantly better. For sports to be played in a county it must have a test positivity rate less than 10%, a 10% decrease in case rates, a 10% decrease in COVID hospital admissions, and an ICU occupancy less than 90%.
Losing a whole high school season due to COVID would be a huge disappointment for highschool athletes. High school sports are special because you only get 4 years of them and you get to meet and play with people that you wouldn’t normally play with for club sports. For Hannah Cecil (‘21) high school sports are special because, “[she has] made a lot of great friendships through playing sports at Bothell. It is also really fun repping Bothell and competing with your teammates. Some of my favorite memories are playing heated soccer games against Northshore rivals and running with my relay team at the state track meet.” Losing the 2021 highschool season due to COVID would be especially disappointing to seniors like Hannah because they won’t get a season next year and would miss out on annual traditions like senior night. For many athletes high school sports also represent the end of their sports careers. According to the NCAA nearly 8 million students play a high school sport in the U.S. and only 6% of them go on to play in college so for about 7.5 million students high school sports will be the end of their sports journey. Putting hundreds of hours into something only for it to end prematurely is devastating, but due to COVID this could become reality for athletes across the country.
Even with high school sports on the verge of being permanently canceled Bothell Seniors are still remaining optimistic. Roshawn Seeney (‘21) said if the season does happen he is, “looking forward to playing with [his] friends again and competing.” High school sports are a great experience and students are encouraged to participate in them. One piece of advice Hannah had for future Bothell athletes is to, “try different sports and have fun with it!” Roshawn agreed and added they should, “enjoy every moment and make the most of it because it goes by faster than you expect.”