Coast athletes hope to start their season in the face of COVID-19

Coast athletes hope to start their season in the face of COVID-19

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - Fall sports would normally be in full swing but COVID-19 has put many athletes’ quest for glory in doubt.

Many are wondering if there will be anything close to a normal sports season, and if it will even happen in the fall.

Even with doubt rife in the hot August air, athletes are back to practice and this includes the Ocean Springs Cross Country team, who is diligently preparing for the upcoming season.

“This nightmare has to stop because all of us are trying to get our runs in so we gotta do good this year,” said 11th grader Anthony Smith.

Smith is hoping to earn a scholarship to a top school like LSU and is still hopeful to get an opportunity to prove he deserves it.

“I really hope this season does come back because the excitement you get out of that from running the course is unbelievable,” he said.

Anthony isn’t the only one hopeful to lace up his shoes and perform. The Gulfport Volleyball team resumed practice on Monday and they are ready to make up for lost time.

“Everybody on our team cannot wait to play. They pushed us back so we lost four games already. So (August) 25th will be our first game and the girls are ready to get started,” said Head Coach David Irwin.

Still, the fear remains whether athletes will get to participate in fall sports or not.

“We are a little hesitant and afraid that we won’t have a season but, at the end of the day, I think we are all really happy to be out here with each other and running again,” said 9th grade Ocean Springs Cross Country runner Kate Trosclair.

It’s the same outlook that was forged by Ocean Springs Cross Country Coach Tim Sayers, who is quick to remind his team to focus on what they can control.

“We’re just literally taking it day by day. We are trying to stay as positive as we can and just focus on what we can control,” said the Greyhound alum and now coach.

Still the possibility of months without competing in the sports they love has athletes asking the community to step up and stay safe.

“I really hope we have pour sports so if everyone could just keep staying safe and wearing their masks and everything, that would be great,” said Trosclair.

MHSAA has released a list of guidelines for fall sports and activities and at the moment schools are set to begin competition in the next few weeks.

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