Student Athletes Struggle Without Sports


Photo credits to John Stevens, who retains full photo rights. Contact him at [email protected]. On his website,, photos are free for personal use. Click on the thumbnail photo for full sized images.

Emilia Aviles, Staff Writer

Last year, students attended football, basketball, and volleyball games as a regular pastime. However, high school sports have drastically changed during the pandemic, bringing about a new slew of problems.


For many student athletes, sports is an outlet for them. They use athletics as a way to let go of everything. For others, it is a way to show off what they can do and try to get a scholarship for it.


“It affected my team because we were not able to finish the season off and get to where we wanted to be,” said Tayon Anderson, a Kempsville High School basketball player.


Anderson and many other athletes stated their teams were not able to get strong together. Many athletes enjoyed team bonding and feeling as though they were a part of something. Now, teammates feel distant from each other.


Often, athletes deal with issues amongst family, friends, or themselves and sports provide a way to let everything out. Now that sports have been put on hold, they are struggling with their mental health. Students who had trouble making friends relied on sports teams for the opportunity to step out of their comfort zone and create connections.


“[Last year], we started practicing, and it was good for a few weeks until our foreign exchange students had to be sent home because of COVID,” said Maddie Diaz, a tennis player for Kempsville High School.


The 2020 spring sports season only had about 2-4 weeks of practicing before students were sent home. Many players did not realize their last practice would be their final time seeing the foreign exchange students again.


All of the athletes are worried about whether or not they are having a season this year. Students hold on to the hope of playing, but the odds aren’t in their favor.


Without a sports season, many worry about losing the opportunity of athletic scholarships. Not only can they not show what they’re capable of, but they also are having a hard time improving.


“Even though sports are a big thing in our lives…[they] are the least of our worries this school year since we aren’t even allowed to be in school right now. We will just have to wait and see what happens in the future.” said Diaz.