Leveling the Playing Field: Varying County Rules Impact Athletes

Nolan Cobbs Jr, Staff Writer

Every athlete’s dream is to play college sports and head to the professional league as their long lasting career, including me. We work so hard to achieve our dreams and to make sure we get a chance in life. Many of us have been through the most extreme conditions to get to where we are today. We build up the mental toughness and fight through adversity because we are willing to go far for the sport we love. Currently, most of the student-athletes and I are in the same situation, trying to play sports during the Coronavirus pandemic. Many schools, colleges, and professional leagues are trying to find a way to play through the pandemic, but many other sports have moved their season to winter or spring.
It’s been a long journey ever since Covid-19 hit us in March. Most sports were canceled and the senior class of 2020 and other students were devastated. During the summer, we all thought that we would proceed with high school sports and would go back to normal with restrictions, but that didn’t go as planned. Instead, the pandemic continued, making St. Louis County schools cancel practices and workouts for most teams. Players were devastated, thinking they were never going to have a chance to play their last season with their friends.
Student athletes were also thinking if this was going to mess their recruiting process. Most recruiting coaches look for film on recently played games so they can analyze players and hopefully offer them a scholarship. A recruiting coach for Culver-Stockton College said that they have a limit to how many offers they can give out, and they look for people with good film who are playing through the virus or people who had outstanding film from the 2019 season. Many other students who graduated and became collegiate athletes said that most of the process of getting recruited is way harder because of Covid-19. It’s heartbreaking just looking at other schools starting their season and other student-athletes just working out by themselves throughout the week just to wait until spring to hopefully play their sport. As the coronavirus peaks in the United States, players understand their safety is more important than after school activities. But many students use sports to get out of bad areas and go to college. In addition, because other area schools have started competition, St. Louis County athletes are put in a bad position. We need everyone to be united and not have some schools playing a sport while other area athletes do not have the same opportunity.