Students and coaches of the Naples High wrestling team will be attending a wrestling tournament on Jan 30. There, they will practice safety procedures in response to COVID-19 and have shown their understanding of the importance of doing so.

“Tournaments are very exciting because you get to wrestle more than one team and measure your progress, which determines your placement in state,” senior Johan Fuentes said.

Students on the team find the tournaments to be great events to test themselves and determine their rankings. While the tournaments are fun and exciting, people must be more wary this year because of COVID-19.

“There are no concerns about getting COVID-19 from other people from the tournament as there aren’t any spectators,” sophomore Christopher Fernstorm said. “If there are any wrestlers with COVID-19, then they would have to skip out on the tournament.”

Students are pretty confident about not getting the virus, but teams have to be mindful that in the slim chance they do get it, they would have to quarantine and skip any upcoming events. Even while at the tournament, students and coaches should be aware of what happens if someone does catch the virus there.

“If someone catches the virus before the tournament, they notify their coaches and school and become quarantined,” Fuentes said. “If they suspect they might have caught something at the tournament and don’t feel well, that must also be notified.” 

As a standard procedure, students should contact their coach and school if they’re not feeling well, so the school can do contact tracing. Despite these precautions, students are aware that there is still a possibility of spreading the virus while at the tournament.

“If someone has COVID-19 during a tournament it is possible to spread it since wrestlers wrestle without a mask and grapple with each other one after another,” Fuentes said. 

With students understanding that there is always that possibility of spreading or contracting the virus, they try to remain as safe as possible. When they are not at an event or tournament, the team follows a safety procedure while practicing. 

“During our practices, we keep masks on when taking out the mats, as that’s when we are in the closest contact,” Fernstorm said. “After that, we take off our masks and get into our pairs. We try to limit outside contact between these pairs, so that way if one person does get it, our whole team isn’t shut down for the rest of the season.”

With students following this procedure, the team is kept as safe as possible. Not only do students minimize the contact between each other, but they also have a clean up procedure to lower the chance of spreading the virus. 

“Every time after a match, the team wipes down their skin and gear with disinfectant wipes and makes sure they shower when they get home,” Fuentes said. “The team wears masks at all times if they’re not wrestling and maintain social distancing.” 

Students are responsible for their hygiene and safety when they go home after practice, but before they go home, the team must make sure to clean the mats, so they don’t risk catching the virus from a previous practice. With having everyone follow the procedures and guidelines, peoples’ concerns and fears about getting the virus are reduced.

“I never really have any concerns about the team getting COVID because we all wear face masks and follow procedures to ensure nobody gets contaminated,” Fuentes said.