Same sport, different seasonal expectations

Story by Lily Temple – Staff Reporter

Like most sports at Lee’s Summit North, tennis is split into two seasons, girls and boys. Despite the obvious difference of seasons, this year the Covid protocols have also changed how the sports function. 

   One difference is the time of the year that these seasons take place.

   “There are several big differences between the boys and girls seasons simply because of the time of year. The girls begin the season in the heat of August before school even begins and the boys start the first of March, which is technically still considered Winter! The Spring also gets very busy with many types of events, contests, Graduation, etc,” Stu Reece, head tennis coach, said. 

   Both the fall and spring seasons present their own challenges. The girls often have to practice and play matches in extreme heat and several boys’ matches get postponed or even canceled due to the rain that occurs in spring.

   Another dissimilarity is the number of players on each team. This year there were over 70 girls who played tennis in the fall. The boys have just over 20 on their team this spring. 

   Boys and girls tennis are always different but this year, there was an even bigger contrast due to Covid-19. The world is very different now than it was six months ago back in the fall. Many protocols have changed. 

   For example, because of how many girls were on the team, they were forced to split the team in half and have two separate practices in order to abide by the social distancing rules. During practices, each girl was assigned a practice court that they had to play on each day. This helped with contact tracing. 

   The boys did not have to make either of those changes. Thankfully, things seem to be getting closer and closer to normal. 

   “We have already seen a lower number of positive Covid cases in the school & Jackson County, so they are allowing for more fans to attend the tennis matches,” Reece said. 

   Along with the other spring sports, tennis players are now allowed to have four spectators which are different from the two spectator rule that was in place during fall sports.

   Our country seems to be heading back towards normalcy. It is everyone’s hope that by next fall, everyone will have a normal season. 

(Pictured above left: Hugo Dwyer — Photo courtesy of Mike McGurk)