Flattening the curve with Fall Sports


Colleen Spencer

The cross country varsity boys starting their race at the Joe Schrag Invitational meet, on September 12th 2020,

The cross country varsity boys starting their race at the Joe Schrag Invitational meet, on September 12th, 2020.

Fall sports in the 2020 season have had many changes due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, the teams have many rules and regulations adjusted based on the sport location and what type of activity it includes. 

“Nothing is to be taken for granted, but we have approached everything like it will happen,” said Jacob Kirmer, 2nd-year boy’s soccer team head coach, earlier this season. COVID-19 has not had a huge impact on soccer yet. Games and practices have been normal for the start, but they still take the proper precautions. Varsity and JV are not able to play together due to crowd restrictions, and all watchers are required to wear masks. Their first match was on August 28th, against Mill Valley. Returners including Jeron Poteete, Titan Cina, Cadin Worcester, Brenden Huff, and Kyson Evans, have been very successful this season. As well as newcomers, Andrew Kirmer, Gavin Wilhelm, Jake Moss, Justin Kruse, and Cade Rothenberger. The team hopes to have more supporters of Seaman at their matches this season, as they work towards their goals. 

Girls’ golf has been moving along with all of the new rules and regulations. For this season, tournaments will be much smaller, with fewer teams able to compete. They will be going against city and centennial league teams, along with schools such as Silver Lake and Tonganoxie. The golfers’ first JV tournament was on August 25th, hosted by Washburn Rural, while the first varsity tournament was on September 1st, hosted by Emporia High School. “We are reviewing the new suggestions for competitions, checking temperatures, and finding unique ways to transport golfers and equipment,” says Julie McLaughlin, the 4th-year coach of the girls’ golf team. The team has had many returning golfers, as well as newcomers including, Molly McLaughlin, Aspen Burgardt Katie Golder, Jade Thomas, Madyson Hardesty, Renae Sturgeon, Quinn Emert, Avery Samuelson, and Riley Adams. McLaughlin believes that her team is fully ready for this season, for they have been able to practice as usual and the golfers have had a very successful start.

COVID-19 has caused significant changes to the Girls Tennis team. The normal seasonal tournament will not be competed at, because the host felt that they would be unable to safely accommodate the 16 teams that normally play. Along with the new schedule, some policies have been implemented as well, including temperature checks before every practice and competition. They will no longer keep community water jugs, but will instead be using the handsfree water bottle fill stations, masks are also being in use. Andrew Gill, head tennis coach for both of the boys and girls tennis team says, “I’ve talked with a couple of other local coaches. We’re all pretty much in agreement that the pandemic is worrisome, but we want to do everything we can to give our athletes the chance to compete as long as it remains safe to do so.” Gill believes that both the JV and varsity teams were very well prepared for their respective competitions. Returning and new players including Elise Schreiner, Sarah Latendresse, Grace Unruh, Lauren Sweeney, Emma Smith, and Katie Krumins, have helped lead to victory in the 3 meets they have competed. The first JV competition took place on Tuesday, September 1st, and varsity on Saturday, September 5th.

“There is day to day concern with the continuation of our sport. One case could wreck the week, an outbreak could cancel the season.” Says Glenn O’Neil, 5th-year coach of the Seaman Football team. Football players have been showing much caution and realizing what negative effects it could have on the season if the new regulations because of the COVID-19 pandemic are not followed. They are required to wear masks in the locker room and attempt to keep their 6 feet personal space on the field as well as in the locker room. Equipment is constantly monitored to make sure that it is freshly cleaned and sanitized. They must bring their own water jugs to practice. Players take home their personal practice equipment from their lockers. For this season, fan and family spectators have been limited and have led to a rise in concern. But they have maintained safety precautions to keep the entire football team safe and healthy. With the whole team being healthy it will lead to new wins with the help of players including Ewan Mills, Nathan Zeferjahn, Jordan Zahn, and Ike Prengel. The varsity football team won their first game of the season on Friday, September 4th. An away game competing against Hayden, a rival school, with a score of 28 to 22. The Seaman football team will be competing in the Centennial League for each game.

The volleyball team has made adjustments due to the pandemic as well as new restrictions. “They were prepared for the first games, however, we were not quite ready for our second date of games and it shows,” says Tatiana Schafer, head coach of 4 years for the volleyball team. Their first game was on Tuesday, September 1st. Some of the top players include Camryn Turner, Drew Baxter, Hailey Minger, Jayden Brandt, and newcomer Taylin Stallbaumer. The team had senior night on their first home game this season rather than the last home game, for the pandemic could possibly cancel the season at any time. Players have been wearing masks during practice and during games, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure a longer, healthier season. Volleyball has already competed against Lawrence Free State and Lawrence High, with other games being rescheduled due to teams that are unable to play. “We have a lot of work to do so hopefully we come out with intense practices to get better each day and to keep working hard.”

“Sometimes you have to do what is required to do so that you can do what you want to do.” Says Rick Brading, head coach for 30 years for the girls cross country team. Both boys and girls cross country had their first meet on Saturday, September 5th at the Manhatten Invitational. All runners were required to wear masks for the first 200 meters of the race. Manhatten did not allow spectators, though friends and family still were able to watch through a live stream. We will use masks extensively, even running the opening stretches of races in them. “The hardest sacrifice is that spectators have not been allowed at our meets, and that seems unfair to our parents,” said Luke Wiens, 7th-year head coach of the boys cross country team. Cross country will be competing with other runners from schools such as Washburn Rural, Emporia, Manhattan, Wamego, Topeka High, Highland Park, and Salina Central. Both the boys and girls team has had a good selection of runners including Jace Moore, Corbin Atkins, and Anson Appelhandz, as well as newcomers Tyler Moser, Joe Yorkey, Tristen Vila, and Caleb Wempe for the boys’ team. As for the girls’ team some top runners include Bethany Druse, Emma Schultz, Gabby Grace, Megan Allacher, Tara Spencer, Hannah Mott, with newcomers, Brooke Polter, Elinore Stallbaumer, and Savannah Sampson. Brading says, “I am very excited about this group of athletes. I am confident that if there is a postseason, we will be there and compete well!”

These athletes and coaches will continue to compete and win not only against their competitors but also COVID-19.