The popcorn still popped, fans still cheered, and most importantly athletes still hustled and competed for every point, touchdown, and goal as high school sports returned last week.
It was a five month layoff between high school sporting events in Montgomery County. I wasn’t sure those five months were ever going to come to a close, and I know many coaches and athletes likely pondered the same thing.
But we are here, and although the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has us all doing life a little bit differently these days, our youth are back in the classroom learning and back on the court competing.
These are two things that at times become essential parts of life for high school students.
As they begin to shape into the people they are destined to be, they use learning and competition to get there.
I have had a chance to attend sporting events of all fall sports across all four area high schools.
Masks are being worn, fans are social distancing. There are no high-fives, and no pregame and postgame huddles, but the reality is, athletes have found a resemblance of normalcy just by returning to competition.
At times it has been easy to notice a lack of summer conditioning or organized workouts due to the pandemic. Most notably in football and cross country. The cohesiveness part for football and the ‘being in shape,’ part for cross country.
However, overall younger athletes only need competition to bring the best of them out. They crave competing, and now that they have it, they’re going to do everything they can to keep it.
We have had a few events get canceled or postponed due to the pandemic so far, which was expected. But each night there is a full slate of games to go, and I think I can safely speak for a lot of people when I say that we are awful grateful for that.
Jared McMurry was born and raised in Montgomery County and is the Sports Editor of the Journal Review. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone at 765-918-8656. Follow him on Twitter @jaredmac26