On December 4, Montgomery County Public Schools announced that in-person competition for winter sports will now start on January 12. MCPS postponed the start of the season from December 7 after the county saw a surge of COVID-19 cases.
For the remainder of the winter, MCPS will continue its operations as outlined by the R.A.I.S.E. Reimagined framework, which details how athletics function through the pandemic.
Virtual sports, including basketball and poms, will continue over Zoom, where players listen to guest speakers, talk with their teammates and coaches and do personal workouts.
Students are disappointed that their seasons were further delayed, but understand that safety remains MCPS’ top priority.
“With online sports, you don’t get to create a team atmosphere, and the juniors don’t get the chance to build up their skills or potentially figure out their college situation,” said junior basketball player Alexis Aronie. “However, it was a good idea not to go in -person because cases are going up and starting sports could be putting people in dangerous situations.”
Although the county has set a January 12 return date, plans for in-person athletics remain contingent on the state of the pandemic. The county plans to align the start of in-person athletics with the return of in-person learning, said MCPS Director of Systemwide Athletics Dr. Jeffery Sullivan.
Until students can return to in-person sports, county officials encourage athletes to take advantage of online athletics and other such virtual activities at their disposal.
“Students-athletes should try to connect with coaches or teammates and be an active participant in the virtual season,” said Systemwide Athletics Specialist Kathy Green. “You can still have a rewarding season.”