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Safely support our basketball teams

If you started reading this week’s paper on page 1, you read Bart Moss’ article on the impact the coronavirus is already having on our local basketball teams.

If you skipped over or skimmed it, go back and read it now.

Who could have imagined at the beginning of last basketball season that we’d be facing something like this? Isn’t it strange how much can change in our lives in just the space of year?

It’s become abundantly clear that basketball season will be anything but predicable for 2020-2021. If you’re putting the games on your calendar, best do it in pencil because they are likely going to change.

We’d like to echo the encouragement of the AHSAA in reminding you that the success of this year’s basketball season depends on you – whether you’re a parent, a player, a fan or a coach, the future of this season depends on all of us.

If we want our kids to get to play the sport they love, we need to take coronavirus precautions seriously. If we refuse to follow the guidelines and mandates set out by authorities, we are bound to see the consequences of that manifest on the basketball schedule.

Folks, it was challenging enough to get through football season – outdoors, in the open air, where it was much easier to stay out of each other’s faces.

Now local sports fans are packed into small gyms, where all the germs are crammed together, where the air I breathe out is far more likely to be the same air you’re going to breathe in.

Throw just a couple coronavirus cases into that mix, and we could easily be looking at the wholesale postponement or even cancellation of this season.

Don’t forget what our spring athletes faced in March.

It’s around this time of year that we usually encourage you to support our basketball teams. Usually we want fans to pack the gyms, cheering for teams as it all goes down on the court.

We do still want that this year – but with some stipulations.

This year, we need to keep safety in mind as we support our teams.

Wear your mask. Respect any areas of the gym that have been blocked off to aid in social distancing. Avoid mixing with large crowds and with people from multiple different households. Wash your hands. Cough into your elbow. And if you’re experiencing any telltale coronavirus symptoms – be smart and stay home.

Our players need your support, but this year, that support might not mean cheering in the bleachers. It might mean staying home until you’re sure that cold is just a cold. It might mean keeping your mask on even though it makes your face itchy or fogs up your glasses.

Let’s do whatever it takes to help make sure our teams enjoy the full season they deserve.