With high school sports suspended until 2021, high school programs will have to stand pat for the fall semester, arguably the most competitive time of the year.
The Bishop Michael Eldon Lady Warriors had their eyes set on retaining their junior and senior girls’ championships in the Grand Bahama Secondary School Athletic Association (GBSSAA) Rozena Nesbitt/Oriel Knowles) High School Volleyball League this October. Instead, due to the restrictions in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that goal has been placed on hold.
Head coach for both teams, Cherishe Hollingsworth-Lundy, spoke briefly with The Freeport News recently. The coach shared that losing the opportunity to play comes as a huge blow but said it’s something she has come to understand.
“It’s really unfortunate. The coronavirus has not only had a severe impact on our economy, but, severe impacts on our homes and relationships because of the loss of jobs and so many other things.
“Now, also, we have to live with the reality that the coronavirus has taken away high school sports. Our girls have been looking forward to training and competing since last season. Even if you were to drive past the school yard you would see that those volleyball nets never really came down because it has become a part of the culture at BMES.
“When we look at what we lost and what we’re losing, it’s so much more than meets the eye,” she said.
The decorated volleyball coach went on to acknowledge that the disciplines of sports bring everyone together through competition and instill discipline. She then pointed out the opportunities for scholarships and a chance to see the world.
Respectfully, she challenged the higher ups to find a way for sports to move forward through this pandemic.
“To not be able to take part, it’s not really exciting news for us at this stage. We’re all disappointed as a unit, not just in volleyball but we’re disappointed on the whole.
“I, personally, would like to challenge those who are in charge, to do their best to keep sports alive and keep the games going. These are kids we’re still trying to prepare for scholarship opportunities. The virus isn’t going anywhere and there has to be some level of protocol we can put in place whereby the kids of various levels can still compete,” she stated.
In the meantime, Hollingsworth-Lundy disclosed that she has been thinking of ways to establish a controlled-training environment for the girls once school reopens.
“Maybe we can still train once a week, and have some scrimmage games even if that means staggering the girls in. I’ve definitely been praying about it and thinking of ways to bring the girls together just to keep the program alive and keep everyone enthusiastic.
“When school officially reopens and we get an idea of who is actually coming back, then we’ll have a better idea of where everyone is at in terms of their willingness to participate,” she concluded.