Bleacher Report


Mary Hanna Bryant, Treasurer

Along with most events this year, sports did not go quite as planned. Precautions for the coronavirus have caused limitations for sports, and some have been affected more than others. At the start of the school year, RMA decided to push back high risk sports such as volleyball and football until after Christmas to ensure safety. With the close contact play of football, and due to play being held in a gym for volleyball, the school thought it was best to postpone these sports. Tennis was able to carry on fairly normally with their season based on Roy Cooper’s gathering limits. However, only two parents were able to attend matches with masks. They ended their season on a good note, making it to the quarterfinals of the state tournament! The cross country team was also able to continue their season with few limitations, due to it being an individual outside sport, and the boys team won the conference!


Because of Roy Cooper’s mandate, the basketball teams have been playing in masks, with only two people over the age of 21 per player allowed to attend the games. Players who have asthma or other medical conditions do not have to wear a mask with a doctor’s note, which has been helpful. Between each game, the gym is cleared out, and the bleachers are sprayed with a power cleaner to help ensure safety. The basketball season has been uncertain, with teams having to cancel weekly due to exposures. Something that has been very helpful throughout the season is the livestream of the games. Since there is a limit on the number of people allowed in the gym, the stream makes it possible for grandparents or anyone who wants to watch the games to see them. Most of the players are glad to be able to be on the court, even if it means having to wear a mask and without the normal number of people in the bleachers. Reynolds Cobb, a member of the varsity boys basketball team, stated, “I love how they record the games so everyone can see them. It’s not the same without all my boys there to support me but I’m glad Mama Cobb is able to come.” Reynolds also mentioned that he expects big things for the upcoming boys soccer season, which was originally supposed to be in the fall, but was postponed. Others have mentioned how thankful they are for the cheer team, who have worn masks on the sidelines of the varsity games this year. With the few number of people allowed in the gym, the cheerleaders have managed to boost morale and lighten spirits with their loud voices and fun cheers! 


Although it is good that the teams are able to compete, it still comes with its challenges. For example, the swim team has struggled with the coronavirus restrictions put in place. When talking to swim team member Sarah Cathryne Coltrane, she said, “Our team does not have the opportunity to practice everyday due to the restrictions, and our season is cut short with having less than half of our usual swim meets. Also, the meets are limited in the number of teams being able to compete, which takes away from having competition in our individual races.” She also mentioned she has noticed a decline in the overall spirit of the team due to the lack of time they are able to spend together in the pool.


As for upcoming sports, decisions on football are still being made. However, the boys soccer team plans to start practicing later this month and will follow a six week season schedule. The volleyball team is also expected to carry out a six week season schedule starting the first week of February. The team will not play against their normal competitors due to the fact that some teams played earlier in the year. Nonetheless, the team hopes to win the conference tournament again this year! When talking to Law Kitchin, a member of the varsity girls volleyball team, she stated, “We had a really good season last year and a good run in the state playoffs. Even though our season has been delayed, we are all really excited to be back on the court again.”


Even though sports have not been the same this year, students are thankful to be able to play the sports they love with their friends and teammates. Seniors are especially grateful to be able to play out their final seasons of sports. Everyone has made the most out of their time this year despite the challenges, and we hope the upcoming sports will continue to succeed!