RE prepares to maximize safety in the fall sports season


Maya Rego '21

Will RE compete in football?

With students having returned to school and athletic practices starting up again, everyone is looking forward to the start of fall sports, especially student-athletesAlthough a regular fall sports season brings excitement, this unusual year brings with it uncertainty. Many students are still excited, but concerned about competition and safety in their respective sports. 

“As long as the numbers [of cases] for South Florida continue to improve,” Athletics Director Corey Goff said, “I would say it [competition] is likely in all of our sports.” He also mentions which individual sports are more likely to compete. “Golf, for example,” Coach Goff said, “is on one extreme end, with very low risk for transmission, simply because of the way the game is played. Swimming and cross country are in the next category, then volleyball, and then football is the highest risk.”  

Golf, swimming, and cross country are all sports that do not require contactor activity where students are in close proximity to one another. On the other end of the spectrum, volleyball and football present the highest risk for spreading Covid-19, so both will require more safety precautions during games and practices.  

Another change that higher-risk sports will see is a restriction on the number of potential fans that may attend. For volleyball, there will not be any fans in the gym, and football is also affected as the field will have limited seating, Coach Goff said. 

“As a player, you want as many fans at your game as possible,” Thomas Schein ‘21, a quarterback on the RE football team, said. “Seeing a big crowd in the stands gives you that extra bit of motivation. Having said that, the main goal this season is to keep everyone safe no matter what it takes.”  

Allowing fewer fans at events is only one of the many safety precautions RE is taking for their student-athletes. Multiple equipment adjustments have been made to create a safer environment. Football players are wearing transparent plastic masks over the regular face masks of the helmet. This lowers the risk of transmission while still allowing the student-athletes to breathe freely.  

Another case of equipment changes can be seen in RE’s handling of the sports balls. “For example, if there is a volleyball rally, once that rally is over, the ball will be removed and a new ball will go in, Coach Goff said. 

Currently, contact between student-athletes and the sharing of equipment is prohibited, but Coach Goff said that “as the numbers continue to drop in South Florida, we will be allowing activity that will allow our students to be closer together.” Until riskier activities are allowed, these protocols will be followed for the safety of the students especially with more people on campus.

As the situation continues to improve, excitement grows. “I’m super excited for our first volleyball game,” Mia Balestra ‘21 said. “We had our first week of practice and we definitely have the potential to go far in the postseason.” Many student-athletes feel that RE is being as safe as possible and are comfortable going to practices. 

Schein said he understands that “the situation obviously isn’t ideal, but if we want to have a season this is what needs to be done. I feel more than safe during practices and I’m sure Ransom will continue to be safe as the games come around.”  

Transportation for athletic practices and competitions has been dramatically impacted by Covid-19 protocols as well. Many student-athletes do not drive yet, which was not a problem before the pandemic began because buses were available. In today’s world, however, Coach Goff explains that the situation regarding buses is complicated and at this point he is unsure if buses will be available due to the potential need for Miami Dade County public schools to require multiple buses in order to keep social distance. If this is the case, students will likely have to rely on siblings, parents or other students for transportation. 

Most students are looking forward to the start of the fall sports season. Although there are many things that are different from years past, all the precautions and protocols are in place to ensure the safety of everyone at RE. Even with these protocols, the fall season is shaping up to be incredible, filled with great games and greater players.