Sports continue despite new restrictions

Charger student athletes and coaches face new obstacles this year as a result of COVID-19 and necessary precautions being taken to protect everyone involved.

David Mathis, Director of Athletics, said, “We’re doing about all that we can do to see if we can keep this… [spring sports] just like you hear everyday from the CDC and the Georgia Department of Public Health.”

Mathis said when it comes to baseball, the players will be spread out in the dugout to avoid close contact. He also said that the team has a fog machine to clean shared equipment and clean the surrounding area after games or practices to disinfect the area. The baseball team will be playing at the Lakepoint Complex in Cartersville and will follow their safety guidelines for each home game.

Each of the Charger spring sports teams (basketball, softball, baseball) must fill out daily questionnaires stating whether the team was participating in a team meeting, practice or conditioning workout. All student athletes must take a temperature check and list it in the questionnaire as well.

When it comes to fans viewing the sporting events, there are some limitations. Mathis said masks are required at all sporting events and to everyone must maintain six foot social distancing. A family or group of people must stay in their own bubble to reduce the risk of spreading.

Mathis said, “Sports brings in a lot more than money. It makes a college environment more special.” There have still been some negative effects on the school’s budget. GHC’s Athletic Department is funded by athletic fees. Mathis said that, “this past summer, our enrollment was up 14%” but the University System of Georgia wouldn’t let GHC charge fees, due to all classes being online. Mathis said that the Athletic Department lost $100,000, due to not charging fees and that the low enrollment also hurts the budget. He said, “That hammers our budget… we’re down about 500 students, that’s another $45,000 loss.” He said teams are only doing what is absolutely necessary, due to the lower athletic department budget.

Mathis said that, compared to last year, roughly half as many games will be played for all spring sports. The maximum amount of games for men’s and women’s basketball will be 18 games. Baseball will play a maximum of 56 games, compared to 72 games the team usually plays. Finally, softball will be allowed a maximum of 30 games where normally they play 60 games.