Posted on: December 3, 2020 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

By Joey Fernandez, Sports Editor Intern

Moraine Valley’s winter and spring sports teams are allowed to start practicing and preparing for their seasons with the help of the innovative new “pod” system that helps them follow the current COVID-19 protocols set in place by the state. 

The “pod” system allows for social distancing by having ten or fewer individuals in one place at a time. Many MV athletes feel this system is working, with the coaches preaching safety precautions and taking the extra steps to avoid contamination.

Sophomore baseball player Chris Villafuerte praised his coaches for putting safety first.

 “I don’t think any of us have had any worries about it because we had good foundation with the coaches being prepped really well on how to handle it all,” he said.

Villafuerte also spoke about how the baseball team’s pods are split up: “For us, we have four separate pods and they’re in groups of seven. There’s four past teammates and three freshmen in every group.”

Workers lay down sod of new baseball field that MV team hopes to use this spring.

Athletes are finding the positives in using “pods” for practice.

“Since we’re in smaller groups we get more reps and get to know each other better,” Villafuerte said. “And coaches get to know the players better and focus more on each other instead of a whole team at once.”

The most challenging aspect of the pods for sports with more players is developing chemistry with one another due to newcomers joining the team and not being able to interact with everyone on their team. 

Sophomore basketball player Trevon Jones spoke about how these factors could affect the season.

“It’s weird because our whole team is in the gym at once but we aren’t working together because we’re in pods and we may not have as much chemistry as we should have if we were practicing together,” said Jones. “We have bigs practicing with bigs and we can’t really build chemistry with our guards. It’ll definitely hurt us in the long run if we can’t build back during the time we are able to get together.”

Although not being able to interact with all of their teammates is difficult, they say it’s still ten times better than not playing at all, and the pods have allowed MV athletes to continue doing what they love. 

With the success of this protocol thus far, the MV sports teams are hopeful that this process will benefit them during the season while the rest of the country will also try to follow suit.