COVID impacts winter sports at Stratford

Attendance now restricted to family members of players, coaches and cheerleaders


Members of Stratford girls basketball team at Tuesday night’s game against Tattnall in The Grady

Winter sports are in full swing at Stratford but they look different this year due to COVID-19.

Safety measures have been put in place for indoor sporting events to ensure the health and safety of coaches, players and fans.

At the beginning of the season,  the school limited the number of fans in attendance, according to Athletic Director Mark Farriba. Last week, attendance at Stratford athletic events was restricted to family members of players, coaches and cheerleaders.

Coach Farriba said the decision to limit attendance was to ensure that people could be socially distanced to lessen the chance of a spread.. Fans must be properly spaced out for their safety. In addition to social distancing, a mask is required to be worn inside and in the gym.

Other measures include no concession sales and spreading out the team’s bench areas. He said  winter sports are going well and as planned with the exception of cancellations.

“We’ve had to cancel [games], we’ve had people cancel on us,” Coach Farriba said. “We’ve had to reschedule and add games and that’s just become the norm.”

The boys and girls varsity basketball teams have been some of many teams at Stratford to be affected by COVID. The boys have had two games canceled and four games postponed  due to COVID protocol.

The boys have a 9-2 record going into Friday’s game against crosstown rival FPD. The girls are 9-4.

COVID has presented many challenges to the team since the season began.

“I’ve learned to play every game like it’s my last and to give it my all with my teammates,” junior Isiah Josey said. 

The boys varsity wrestling team has only missed one region meet all year. Wrestling seems like the hardest winter sport to play considering they have to be in close contact all the time.

Coach Walt Mays said his team has  worked hard on enforcing the COVID precautions.

 “I look forward to this year and I plan on going into every meet with the intention that it could be our last,” said senior Hunter Hogan, who finished third in the state in his weight class last year,.

 The school’s swimming teams require members to wear masks when they are not in the water. At Saturday’s region swim meet at the Northside Pool, swimmers must remain in the parking lot when they are not competing. Stratford, FPD, Mount de Sales, Tattnall and ACE will be competing.

 “This season was about rebuilding the coach and swimmer relationships and you know just having fun and being able to swim,” Coach Corley Peth said .