Effects felt as stands kept empty by spacing regulations, quarantine


Keaton Frye

Empty Stadium: A mask lies on the turf at Don Muench Memorial Stadium on Friday, Oct. 2, a night that should have been a football game against Fort Zumwalt West played there. Three sports teams- softball, volleyball and football- have had games cancelled due to athletes being placed in quarantine due to Covid-19

The bleachers seemed barren as masked spectators entered and sat in the stands socially distanced and the band sat in windows in the visitors section. Since the 2020-21 school year began, the school has been taking strict procedures during games and events such as masks being required, the spectators from each team must socially distance within six feet of each other and purchase tickets beforehand. The limitations of spectators at games, most notably football, impacts the players immensely, senior Alex Vogel

“Of course seeing the limited spectators upsets [the team], but that’s just one obstacle we have to face,” Vogel said. “We find our morale through [each other] and we have to get loud and get hyped no matter what is going on.”

Vogel is dismayed about the circumstances but is also very appreciative of how spectators had been in past years games.

“The spectators were an amazing part of the game, they were the ones to get us hype and have fun,” Vogel said. “Not having [spectators] this year though, brought the team closer together, more [tightly knit] than we’ve ever been.”

Vogel voiced the importance of the spectators and also expressed the importance of the Spartan Regiment, Sensations and Cheer teams participation in the game, especially in the time of COVID-19. 

“They impact the game too. I love to hear the cheer team cheer, see the dance team dance and listen to the band play their music,” Vogel said. “It’s all a part of the experience and I’m grateful [they’re] still here.”

For Vogel, everything seems almost unchanged but for cheer senior Emily Pettig, the entire performance aspects, even at pep assemblies, seem close to surreal.

“[There’s less] pressure than a normal pep assembly [but] knowing the pressure that everyone is watching,” Pettig said. “Even though I couldn’t see them [I knew] they could see me.”

Pettig was somewhat unsettled by the still atmosphere of the transient gymnasium during the Sept. 23 pep assembly.

“It’s weird not having the amount of people [we’re] used to having,” Pettig said. “It’s a lot more quiet [but] other than that it feels normal.”

Pettig characterized the environment of the pep assembly to that of a rehearsal. 

“It kind of felt like a practice,” Pettig said. “[However] it was recorded, only a few people watched [in person] and there was definitely a little more pressure.”

Pettig felt pressured by the circumstances to do more and give her best presentation for the livestream viewers.

“As a cheerleader, you always have to think about that,” Pettig said. “[To] try and keep everyone loud and motivated.” 

For  marching band senior Robin Ziegemier, limited spectators have not necessarily concerned them in regards to performances but, if the band does get performances at all this season.

“[The regiment] is thrilled to have a season at all, which is more than a lot of schools are getting right now,”  Ziegemier said. 

“And the band has come together to keep others safe, both within the band and the community as a whole.”

Ziegemier rejoices in how close COVID has actually pushed everyone in band closer together, especially the seniors.

“The seniors in particular have been bonding a lot outside of band as well,” Ziegemier said. 

“[We] just get together and play sand volleyball and talking about our ideas and anxieties over this season.”

Even though the seniors bond outside of band, that doesn’t mean that there is still a general disconnect between everyone and their sections.

“We used to be able to mingle within the sections on breaks,” Ziegemier said.

“Now we are just stuck within just brass, woodwinds,  percussion or just guard.”

Zigemier expresses their anxieties on contract tracing within the school and how band is being affected by that contact tracing.

“The people who got called out [of classes] for contact tracing within the school could have followed the guidelines for the most part,” Ziegemier said.

“The thing is, it could’ve came from the people who don’t wear their mask correctly at school or don’t wear it outside of school.”

 Ziegemier expresses their anxieties of COVID cases by naming an instance in the school where the cases first started sporadically appearing.

“The cases on the football team for example could have come from outside sources or from them not following proper [and basic] procedure. The fact is, [football] games are getting cancelled [which] not only affects them, but the band, dance and cheer [teams] as well,” Ziegemier said.