Long-awaited return


Nic Gulizia, Editor

Think of something that you enjoy doing every day— something that you are passionate about. Now imagine having that taken away from you and then waking up one day, realizing that you’ve been without it for a year. How would you feel? That’s what has been going through the mind of athletes since last March. Whether it’s getting back on that court, field, or track, many athletes are itching to play again. 


High school sports provide countless opportunities, benefits, and positives to the lives of those who participate in them. Some of those include mental health, physical shape, and even scholarship opportunities. 


According to a Canadian study in the Journal of Adolescent Health, playing school sports in adolescent years “is significantly linked to lower depression symptoms, lower perceived stress, and better self-rated mental health in young adulthood.” It’s extremely important that athletes get the chance again to compete in their sport, with the positives going further than just having fun. 


Youth should keep their mental health as stable as possible because the effects of poor mental health can be detrimental and affect everyday life.


Sports in general also bring a major boost to physical health and help keep athletes in shape. The Victoria State Government and Better Health channel stated, “People who are active dramatically reduce their risk of many diseases, including heart disease and osteoporosis.” 


Obviously, sports require physical activity, and resuming them would bring huge physical health benefits to High school athletes. Obesity rates would most likely lower, and the overall health of youth would be right back where it was previously.


Arguably the most important factor in resuming sports is scholarships and college opportunities for those who may not be able to afford college otherwise. Tons of athletes all across the country rely on scholarships and sports for college, more than you may think.


In a recent study by TD Ameritrade, it was found that approximately 47% of student-athletes believe that with sports canceled, their college scholarships could be at risk. That’s almost half of scholarship worthy athletes that could have their future careers stripped from them. This, in my eyes, is the most damaging issue with not resuming sports.


180,000 athletes every year rely on sports scholarships to help pay for their college education. With scholarships and opportunities at risk, the future of sports and our generation is at risk of not achieving their highest potential.


The good news, however, is that sports are beginning to return slowly, and athletes can finally begin to feel a sense of relief. Rules for youth sports have been loosened for counties in California, and outdoor sports can begin to resume where COVID case rates are at 14 per 100,000 people.


Precautions obviously must be taken in order to ensure that nobody is infected with the virus. Masks, 6 feet of distance, and outdoor conditioning will be applied to ensure safety.


As cases continue to drop, more people become vaccinated, and more outdoor gatherings are allowed, resuming sports this spring season should be successful. The wait will finally be over. It’s time to get back out there Grizzlies!