Pitching in: Thoughts on COVID-19

The Palm Beach County School District cancelled all spring sports due to COVID-19 on Monday, March 16.

Jupiter High athletes were gearing up to start their spring seasons, but because of COVID-19, their seasons were suddenly cut short, leaving many to wonder if and when their season would resume. The Florida High School Athletic Association announced on March 31 that spring sports’ seasons could possibly resume May 4 and extend to June 30; however, this is contingent upon students returning to campus before the school year ends.

Jupiter High athletes were disappointed with the quick ending to their seasons. State championship title holder teams were looking forward to, hopefully, bringing home another ring this spring. 

“Because of what is happening in the country and around the world, it really stinks to not play my last season of lacrosse for Jupiter. [The team] was super stoked to play this season because we wanted to bring home another state championship and it would have been the best ending to my senior year,” senior Clay Wissman said. Wissman is a member of the state-champion varsity lacrosse team.

Even though athletes are not allowed to practice together and continue their season as a team, they are finding ways to stay in shape and continue conditioning for their sport. Several members of Jupiter High’s track-and-field team were able to take home equipment from the school to practice, including pole vaulters and hurdlers. 

Coaches are also helping their athletes stay in shape at home. Track coach Helene Jefferson sends out weekly workouts online, and football coach Timothy Tharp is in constant contact with players through Remind, making sure they stay fit. Baseball coach Andy Mook started a Google Classroom with his team to continue to provide workouts.

Jupiter High alumnus and former football player Tyler Cameron, of “Bachelorette” fame, along with well-known trainer Phil Fit, have been posting online workouts for their thousands of followers. They call themselves the “Quarantine Crew” on Instagram and provide live workout videos every day at 2 p.m.

Kimberly Jalm, Jupiter High’s Athletic Director, is monitoring the high school athletic situation and makes a point to keep both coaches and student athletes informed. She also continues her work with the Student ACES club, a group of team captains and leaders, to keep everyone in the loop. 

We are very involved with Student ACES, and I am starting to reach out to possibly start some weekly meetings to make sure everyone is in a good place emotionally and to prepare for next year,” Jalm said.  “I am hoping to work with the Boosters to come up with something so when the time is right, we can celebrate all of our seniors one last time before they go off to college.”

The school district has not made any official announcement regarding the rest of the 2020 spring sports season, but updates are expected this week or next. 

As an [Athletic Director] I’m very sad for our seniors who have had their seasons taken away from them” Jalm said. “I remember what it’s like to feel that you have one more day to play your sport and come to find out it’s gone. Most of our seniors will not play college sports and it’s very tough when you don’t have the ending you envisioned. Teams become your family, and our teams have all forged a bond that will never be broken.”