Sports at MSMS plan to continue despite COVID-19


Gina Nguyen

Currently, all sports at MSMS plan to occur, to some degree, in the 2020-2021 school year.

Hardy Cooke and Gracie Rowland

This year, MSMS is redefining the way that Blue Waves sports looks. The school’s sports and sporting events will have to follow the guidelines set by the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) for the 2020-2021 school year. 

Despite not being at school, swimmers have begun at-home training and will get the opportunity to attend meets independently. The goal is for the team to qualify and compete at North State. Sports like soccer and track have only been delayed until later in the fall. Cross-country runners will have the opportunity to train at home and find their own transportation to meets, which MHSAA plans to have. While sports like track and soccer still allow for social distancing, swimming requires participants to race in a pool together, therefore breaking recommended guidelines.

MSMS’s restructuring decision was made with lots of factors at play. Mrs. Alison Alexander, head of Student Affairs, emphasized that safety remained MSMS’s number one priority while making decisions. 

“​Like most schools, we’ve had to stay abreast of the current COVID-19 trends in our area and across the state. As much as we want to compete normally, we have to keep safety at the forefront,” Alexander said. “As we monitored the status of the virus in our state, we had to look closely at the safety and well-being of our athletes. Most sports involve some level of contact or at least close proximity to other players and coaches.”

The rules set by the MHSAA for high school sports seem to be made with the individual player in mind, as a lot of these rules prioritize the safety of the people over the fun and convenience that any player or spectator may want to enjoy. The MHSAA guidelines state that everyone must wear face coverings or masks when distancing is not possible. This means that soccer and track players must have a mask on while they play, and anyone on the sideline must also keep their mouth and nose covered. 

There is also a set of rules that spectators and sidelined players must follow. Proper physical distancing on the sidelines is recommended as well as restrictions to the flow of lines and people through common areas. All personnel that handle food must be properly screened and checked for symptoms of COVID-19, as well as a screening for the sports officials. Concession stands must use single-serve condiment packets, and there should be hand sanitization stands near bathrooms and other common areas.

However, Mrs. Alexander believes that the junior-senior camaraderie that sports supply will not be dampened this year. 

“​Team captains will work with their coaches to create a space of virtual bonding until we can get back to campus. It’s an unfortunate situation all around, but we are working hard to provide sports in some capacity during this pandemic,” Alexander said.