Holt High School welcomes varsity sports for fall season

Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 10:09 AM EDT
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HOLT, Mich. (WILX) - In this edition of Schools Rule, WILX News 10′s Julie Williams is hitting the field for Holt High School’s Varsity Sports teams.

With the school calling its upperclassmen athletes back for competition, News 10 wanted to find out how the school plans to keep players safe during high contact sports like soccer and football-and how players really feel about wearing a mask during practice and games.

“I just care about being able to play," explained Zac Kelly, a senior Varsity Soccer player at Holt. "So if I get to play there’s risks and there’s rewards. But for me the reward of playing outweighs the risk.”

Zac says he made sure to train over the summer so that he could get used to wearing a mask or gaitor while working out.

"I was a little uneasy about it at first but after going for a few runs and working out, and it just kind of becomes the new normal,” said Zac.

Holt High School is following the Michigan Athletic Association’s guidelines but only bringing back their varsity teams for the fall season.

“That was a very difficult decision that we had to make and our first priority is always the health and safety of our athletes," explained Renee Sadler, the Athletic Director at Holt High School. "We obviously want to give all of our seniors an opportunity to have a senior night. That was a big concern of ours.

So we decided to bring back varsity sports knowing that our sub-varsity sports would have opportunities in the next two or three years to compete at the high school level.”

Athletes are screened at every practice and games.

"They’ve been great about getting to practices a little early so we can do that pre-screening process, our kids here at Holt have been excited to play, they’re happy to be just somewhat normal season back together,” said Sadler.

If a positive case emerges after a practice or even a game, Renee can start contact tracing as soon as possible. That includes with other schools in the district and conference.

It is a step Holt’s Athletic Trainers say they are incredibly grateful for.

“We have a pretty great coaching staff all around and they take care of getting their temperatures, getting our surveys filled out for all our athletes, so that leaves us free to so injury prevention, screen our kids if they need to be screened for concussion testing,” said Matthew Nicolai, an Athletic Trainer for Holt High School. "So they’ve really freed us up to do our jobs.”

"We were vigilant about sanitizing everything before but now it’s just ten fold,” explained Larisa King, an Athletic Trainer for Holt High School.

Each athlete is allowed to bring two guests to every game to limit fan interaction. Holt’s games and conference matches can be streamed through the MHSAA website.

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