Lakeside taking extra safety steps ahead of volleyball season start
EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - THE GHSA volleyball season begins on August 10th. Indoor sports have been classified as a higher risk sport for spreading COVID-19 due in part to the challenges of distancing indoors. Volleyball also has close contact at the net and throughout each point.
Lakeside began official practice in July after spending most of their summer on sand courts. The players feel like this has given them stronger legs and has also helped keep them in shape. Now that the sport is moving indoors, the team broke down some of the steps they’ll be taking to follow and supplement the GHSA guidelines.
Once the panthers were allowed to begin indoor conditioning, it became a priority to figure out what drills could be done while still maintaining safe spacing. It's not just drills. There's even tape on the bleachers showing players where to drop their bags and water and leave enough space.
Coaches are wearing masks, some players were as well.
On gameday, teams will not have to switch sides or do pre-game handshakes. The post-point huddle is also being eliminated.
Spectators will be required to wear masks and follow best practices. Volleyball often has tri or quad meets. In order to reduce the amount of people in the gym at a time, Lakeside will be asking spectators to step out of the gym if their school is not playing. The same will be done for visiting teams.
Players showing any kind of COVID symptoms are also being asked to stay away from practice for at least 2 weeks. Without a bubble environment like the NBA and NHL have, it can be difficult to limit chances of exposure. That's why head coach Moe McCormack is reminding her players to be mindful of what they do when they're not at school or on the court,
"We have been talking to them constantly about recognizing that their decisions will have outcomes. So they need to be very aware of what kind of decisions they make when they're away from Lakeside," said McCormack.
None of the players want to experience a start and stop to their seasons again. The same goes for missing time at practice. The players have all agreed to take precautions more seriously with the season around the corner.
"We're all really starting to take a lot of precautions now because we know how hard it is to lose big assets to our team for 2 weeks of practice. Especially with games coming up," said senior Mikayla Klein.
Lakeside won’t have their first game action until August 13th. The Panthers will be relying on Klein and her experience as the team has set its sights on winning a third consecutive region title.
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