As Michigan’s COVID numbers drop, crowds return to high school sports

As Michigan’s COVID numbers drop, crowds return to high school sports
Published: Mar. 14, 2022 at 10:28 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 14, 2022 at 11:10 PM EDT
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WILLIAMSTON, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan averaged 455 new COVID cases per day Monday, the lowest daily count since July.

March 14, 2022: Coronavirus Report: Michigan reports 1,365 new cases, 24 deaths over past 3 days

With those numbers going down, people are feeling more comfortable being in a crowd. A great example of this is the state high school basketball playoffs, which were in Williamston Monday night.

For a long time, high school basketball has been played in empty gyms, but now it’s game on.

“It feels great,” said Lansing Catholic senior Colin Gardner. “Along with all of our student section being here, it brings anew energy to the game.”

Gardner said it isn’t just the athletes who like to compete, but the student sections as well.

“We have our chants. We’ll bicker with the other student section,” Gardner said. “I think it brings another level to the game. It makes the players energized and us.”

“It’s amazing,” said Williamston High School student Layne Lake. “Last year wasn’t quite the same.”

Like many schools, once students were allowed to start attending games, they had to wear masks. Lake said it’s a lot more fun without them.

“It’s amazing,” Lake said. “It makes it to where you can be a lot louder.”

“When the game starts getting loud, the game just starts getting that much more intense,” said Lansing Catholic senior captain Rory Durr.

Durr said hearing the fans is also a reminder of the people who support them.

“We love it. We love the support and we’re really appreciative of it,” said Durr. “Especially the students and everyone else who comes out and supports us.”

The added bonus of having a crowd is the fact that it’s playoff season, so students are coming prepared to cheer loudly.

“We never know when our last game is going to be, so we try to show up, be loud and distract the other team to give our team an advantage,” Gardner said.

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