As this unique sports season continues, the boys basketball team, as well as many other sports teams, were given multiple contact days to prepare for the upcoming tryouts a few weeks ago. Per the most recent update from the Illinois High School Association, they plan to kick off the boys basketball season a month later than the usual seasons begin. These dates may be taking a sharp turn as the boys will no longer be able to participate in contact days due to a large number of positive tests for COVID-19 in the Lake County area.
Before the announcement of contact days discontinuing, many athletes have been participating in the contact days to improve their skills and practice for the upcoming tryouts. It is not as much about practicing their skills for some players, but it is more about getting back into physical shape after a long period off.
“Contact days are preparing me for tryouts because it is bringing back the basketball endurance,” sophomore Jake Mallek said. “Basketball endurance is a different type of endurance than any other sport and the only way to gain this endurance is just by being exposed to it.”
When contact days were in session, the boys would be temperature checked and had to fill out a health screening form before entering the gym. They faced many unfamiliar challenges along the way; one of which is that they wear a mask at all times during practice. Since basketball is a cardio dependent sport, it causes severe complications with breathing and overheating.
“I don’t really like wearing a mask,” sophomore Ethan Frasch said. “It gets hot and itchy, and it is pretty hard to breathe.”
Along with the masks required at all times, the players must bring their basketballs to contain their germs. Although the athletes are squaring up against a unique season ahead, many look forward to their crosstown rivals.
“I am looking forward to playing Lakes most during the season,” junior Brock Sooley said. “Those games are always fun to play in.”
Although the two teams may compete against each other later this year, there may not be fans to support due to COVID-19. As of right now, nothing is certain for winter sports.