Mindset Over Virus; Kerr Focuses Team’s Effort and Attention Towards Competition and Team

While this wrestling season carries many new twists, Head Coach Matt Kerr helps this team keep a positive mindset through it all.

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Photo by Maize South journalism

The wrestling team sharpens their moves while still trying to fight against COVID-19 by wearing their masks during practice. Many practices start with warming up and basic drills in their team “pods” to reduce risk of infection amongst the group as a whole.

Ty Rains, Bullseye Web Editor and Reporter

How do you think sports like wrestling should be handled during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The topic of sports this year is quite controversial, with some believing that sports are just another way to spread the deadly Coronavirus. Wrestling is quite possibly the highest contact of any sport, where athletes grapple, contort their bodies around their opponents and duos twisting around on a mat for minutes on end.

However, Head Wrestling Coach Matt Kerr believes that sports and competition are quite essential for the students to stay healthy and keep a positive mindset.

“1000% yes,” Kerr replied when asked if he thought students should be participating in sports or not due to the pandemic. “Wrestling and other sports are essential during the pandemic for many students.  Students are actually improving their well-being and health by being active and having something meaningful in their life.  Mental health has been affected by extended isolation.   It’s important to balance everything.  Be safe and responsible, but also continue to live purposeful lives.”

Due to the pandemic, some of the most popular high school wrestling tournaments in the Wichita area were canceled. Drew DeMoss, senior, is disappointed in the lack of tournaments and wishes that they could still participate.

Sophomore Elijah Bolay gets ready to start duking it out on the mats at practice on Tuesday, Dec. 8., while also wearing a mask to help the team follow state guidelines in place for athletics. (Photo by Maize South Journalism)

“I believe that sports should be played during the pandemic,” DeMoss said, “but I wish we had more tournaments this year for wrestling.”

Wrestling, being a high contact sport, could prove troublesome if one wrestler were to catch the virus in season. The team and Coach Kerr are doing all they can to prevent any possible cases on the team by using methods like wearing masks at all times, mandatory temperature checks, and a limited amount of people per group.

“Masks are worn in practice when we are not drilling or wrestling live,” said Kerr. “We are extremely cautious about anyone’s symptoms and having kids stay home a lot more than previous years. Daily temp checks. We also have students in pods so they only wrestle the same kids each week.”

COVID-19 has changed the way we all live and still continues to. Students across the country have swapped to full remote and have to sit at their computer for hours on hours each day. Sophomore Elijah Bolay sees wrestling and other activities as a way to get out of the house and work on getting closer to achieving personal goals from an athletic standpoint.

“I believe that it is okay for activities to continue during this pandemic,” said Bolay. “Everyone is stuck in their house and lots of these kids want to wrestle for different goals.”