What’s the Deal with Sport Transportation?

State+High+field+hockey+team+arrives+at+the+Delta+building+after+competing+in+an+away+game+against+Carlisle+on+Oct.+7%2C+2020.+Because+of+the+parent+involvement%2C+not+many+people+rode+the+bus+home+from+Carlisle%2C+but+instead%2C+athletes+drove+home+with+their+parents.+

(Photo/Allie Peters)

State High field hockey team arrives at the Delta building after competing in an away game against Carlisle on Oct. 7, 2020. Because of the parent involvement, not many people rode the bus home from Carlisle, but instead, athletes drove home with their parents.

Allie Peters, Staff Writer

In past years, athletes would pile on buses to and from games as they braided hair, shared food, and switched seats. This year, none of those things are allowed under the SCASD Health and Safety plan. In an effort to prioritize students’ health while giving them the best experience possible, sports transportation is changing.

Although it is not always possible for parents to drive their kids separately to sporting events, coaches are encouraging parent involvement when it comes to transportation. With COVID-19, only 14 people can travel safely on a Fullington bus, so more parents are stepping up and driving their athletes to the games. 

“If we don’t get assistance from parents, only traveling with 12 to 14 student-athletes on a bus runs the bus numbers up pretty quickly. We go from taking one varsity field hockey bus in the past to potentially needing three or four for a trip,” Loren Crispell, assistant athletic director for SCASD said. 

If students are unable to get transportation from their family, then another option is for students to ride buses to the games. This year, bus rides look different from normal years, as athletes and coaches now follow strict rules set in place in order to make the bus rides safe during the pandemic. Some rules mandated on the bus include social distancing, mask-wearing at all times, (which means no food on the bus), and open windows when possible. Safety has been a priority for SCASD organizers as they develop transportation plans. 

“We need to take every mitigative measure possible to protect you, to protect our bus drivers. We want to make sure we are taking every measure possible to be as safe as possible,” Crispell added when expressing the importance of masking up on the bus. 

Many athletes consider team bonding to be a crucial part of the team’s communication, spirit and energy. One of the main places that students bond is bus rides. Even with the new transportation guidelines set in place, Crispell has hope that the teams can still be as close as in other years. The key to team bonding this year is creativity from athletes as they are now creating new traditions and memories with the unique travel plan set in place. Although athletes are physically more apart than ever, the unique transportation system has made teams and staff grow closer and better together as they adjust to the safety protocols. 

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