Wrestlers Taking Down COVID-19

Wrestling program adjusts to changes due to COVID-19 procedures.


Coach Parks showing technique during practice.

Mia Osier, Reporter

As COVID-19 is affecting every part of the way we live, luckily sports are still happening as of right now. One sport that is practicing right now is the boys and girls wrestling teams. This sport involves a lot of interaction with other people, so the changes that COVID-19 is making to this sport is high. “We have to wear masks during practice even though the states say we don’t, but I think it’s a good precaution,” junior female wrestler Gloria Lillich said.

Masks are worn at all times by the wrestlers and mats have to be cleaned frequently. 

”In the wrestling world, cleanliness is next to godliness,” head coach Chad Parks said.

Even before COVID-19, wrestling programs have always had high levels of hygiene and cleaning standards. This is because of all of the physical touching that is happening between each wrestler.

Most wrestlers are used to using cleansing wipes after each match and showering right when they get home from either a match or practice. The wrestling team also has to make sure that all of their equipment is cleaned and sanitized after every use to decrease the number of bacteria being spread. All wrestling mats are required to be cleaned daily, as well as the wall mats and the workout equipment that are used.

Haley Haltom raises her hand after winning her match. Athletes raise their own hand this year because of COVID-19 guidelines.

”Beyond cleaning and hygiene, wrestlers do as much as possible to boost their immune systems,” Parks said.

Making sure each participant works out, eats well, does breathing exercises, mindset training, and has good sleeping habits are all taught and practiced throughout the season. Which are all very important to the SHHS wrestling program.

”It’s been difficult with us not being able to do the team hangouts and stuff but we are all still pretty close” senior female wrestler Katelynn Thomas said.

Due to COVID-19, practices look very different from what they have looked like in past years. Masks are being worn by the teams and coaches at all times during practices. Which is not easy, but the team and coaches say it’s worth it to be able to have the season.”

The masks are a little annoying to wear when we are actually wrestling but otherwise, they aren’t too bad” senior wrestler Jacob Myers said.

The meets have been modified to smaller groups. Which allows fewer athletes at each event and no fans are allowed to watch. All of the meets are streamed for the families and fans at home wanting to support their athlete and the program.

”Not having spectators really sucks because I enjoy having my parents and family come see me compete,” junior wrestler Cole Parrish said. 

At meets, there is always social distancing and many sanitizers to keep the environment as clean as possible.

”This current COVID-19 era is tough to deal with and that’s that but, wrestlers are built for battle and will not back down from a challenge,” Parks said.

The wrestling teams are adjusting to the covid changes and are making it work. Being on the mat even with the COVID-19 restrictions, it’s worth it for all the athletes and coaches.