Due to the recent influx of Covid-19 cases in Knoxville and the surrounding areas, the Knox County School board has increased their safety precautions at all indoor sporting events.
Though these regulations have constrained teams and families, both the boys and girls teams have chosen to make the most of this tough situation and persevere in order to make the most of their season.
These regulations state that the only fans allowed into games are immediate household family members of players. This has vastly decreased the number of fans in the crowd, consequently completely changing game dynamics. This new set of rules has forced the players to readjust and get comfortable with a much different game environment.
“We have to feed off of our own energy instead of energy from a crowd,” senior A.J. Pruitt said.
Both teams play their next games on Friday at West.
Despite the negative impacts of these increased safety precautions, some players have found that the regulations are working in their favor.
“The lack of crowds in the gym has both positively and negatively affected players,” sophomore Jake Poole said. “Some players play better with larger crowds, and others play better with smaller crowds.”
This transition has not come without its struggles. The fans are a key part of the game atmosphere and without this overwhelming sense of support, the game experience can feel very different.
“There have been games where we needed fans to bring energy and noise for tough situations,” senior Reagan Ruth said.
Even though this year has come with its challenges, both the boys and girls basketball teams are thankful to get the opportunity to play and excited to see where the remainder of the year takes them.
“Players are still going to go all out when playing the sport they love, no matter the circumstances,” Poole said.