Madison begins first season of winter sports during pandemic

Anna Long, Staff Reporter

Madison spring sports were quickly put on hold last year with the swift and immediate reaction to a spike in coronavirus cases which shut down in-person learning, and subsequently all Madison sports. This postponement of Madison sports continued into the 2020-2021 school year. However, this winter, basketball, gymnastics, swim and dive, track and wrestling were allowed to begin scheduling practices and attend matches, which begs the question, how COVID-safe are Madison sports managing to stay?

One Madison student’s experience with COVID-safe sports has not changed drastically in comparison to last year’s sports. 

“Dive is pretty similar,” former cheerleader and current member of the swim and dive team at Madison Camille Jacobs (’23) said. “We have to social distance and stuff, but we can still practice and have meets as usual.” 

Jaocbs admitted she was thankful to be participating in Madison sports this year at all. 

“I think I definitely appreciate the ability to do the sport more since it was threatened to be taken away for safety reasons of course, and over the past few months I have gotten closer to certain people on the team that I have been keeping up with,” Jacobs said. “Taking many months apart can either make your connection to someone stronger or weaker and both have definitely happened.” 


Another Madison student on the track team found, through their experience, that their sport was altered significantly more than last year in comparison to swim and dive.

“We wear masks at all times,” cross country team member Anne Kreiger (’23) said.  “We are socially distanced during warm-ups and have to run in small groups. Sprinters and distance are also completely separated.” 

Aside from the changes made to how things are done on the track team, Kreiger shared that the team relationships were not greatly affected.

“I realized that our team bond is still really strong,” Kreiger said. “Not much has changed besides following the COVID guidelines since we are an individual sport mostly.” 

Students overall appear to be thankful to still practice and compete in their usual sports no matter how altered the experience may be.

Along with reopening sports however, there have been a few instances where Madison athletes tested positive for COVID, including an outbreak on the track team.  

“We had a few cases on sprint that stopped practice for two weeks,” Kreiger said.

The response to these outbreaks is to shut down practice for two weeks and to contact trace students who were exposed. This means that the student will be asked to take a COVID test within the first two days of knowing they were exposed and to quarantine in their room where their parents will be kept updated with protocol surrounding exposure to the virus via text or SMS. Practice is then picked back up after the period has passed.

If all goes according to plan, in the spring season we can expect to see cheerleading, field hockey, football, golf, volleyball, crew, baseball, lacrosse, dance, track and field, soccer, softball and tennis returning to the Madison fields.