Q&A With Girls Tennis Captain Senior Gracie Johnson

Q: What are some of the rules in place around COVID-19 and your sport?

A: Some of the new rules this year would be that we always have to wear masks under the shaded areas, we have to provide our own water/Gatorade, we have to fill out a pre-workout screening form, and we aren’t allowed to shake hands after matches.

Q: What has been the most challenging thing so far?

A: The hardest thing for me has been just maintaining social distance and other COVID-19 guidelines in general. When you’re with a team, it’s so easy to forget that we’re in the middle of a pandemic and want to give one of your friends a nudge or hi-five.

Q: What was easier than expected?

A: I think keeping masks on at the appropriate times has been easier than I would have initially thought, but that’s probably because everyone is so accustomed to it by now.

Q: How has your sport changed since COVID-19?

A: Tennis has never been as much of a close contact or team sport as something like basketball or football, but I feel like since the beginning of COVID-19, there’s been a lot more emphasis on the individual aspect of it.

Q: How has your season been impacted?

A: Fall season for the most part has been pretty normal, aside from all of the additional safety guidelines and weather delays, our tournaments have stayed on schedule. Spring season at the end of the 2019-2020 school year was cancelled all together though, which we were all really disappointed about.

Q: What do you hope to come out of this season?

A: I’m mostly hoping that we can all stay safe this season, and that we can continue to compete and have fun competing like we always have.

Q: What is something you can’t wait to get rid of?

A: I think I speak for everyone when I say we can’t wait to get rid of the pre-workout screening form (the form asking us if we’ve had any COVID symptoms or if we’ve been in contact with anyone infected). The form itself is really not long or difficult at all, and it’s totally necessary given the situation, it’s just something that I think we’ve all forgotten to do before practice at least once or twice.

Q: What will your season look like this year?

A: As far as tournament schedules go, we’re expecting it to look like it has in the past (one tournament pretty much every week during the season). Of course, the main difference will be that there are new safety guidelines so that we can all maintain social distance.

Q: How have you been keeping up with your sport after so much time off?

A: Most of us play in clubs all year as well as in school, and the clubs weren’t closed for very long during the summer if at all. Like I mentioned earlier, tennis isn’t exactly a close-contact sport, so it wasn’t super difficult to make changes to accommodate the situation with COVID (i.e. only coaches are allowed to touch the balls, place your bags six feet apart, etc.) 


By Cady Russell, Online Editor-in-Chief and Sports Editor

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