After two games, JV girls’ basketball team is on hiatus


Photo used with permission from @woottonjvgirlsbball on Instagram

Freshman captain Maddy Mathew enjoys a team dinner prior to the team’s blowout victory over Walter Johnson. The players hope that games, practices and team events can resume soon.

The JV girls’ basketball team’s season has come to an abrupt halt due to rising COVID-19 cases. Games and practices were shut down on Tuesday, Dec. 14, but the team will reassess returning to play after winter break.

The shut down came after multiple COVID-19 cases were reported. A player on the team reported that at least four people on the team tested positive for COVID-19. According to MCPS spokesperson Chris Cram, if a school’s sports team has five or more active cases of COVID-19 on the team, all games and practices must be suspended for at least 14 days.

The team had played two games before their season was interrupted. At the first, an away game at Poolesville on Dec. 7, the team lost 71-12. “As the season goes on, I’m excited to improve with the team and win our games,” sophomore captain Andrea Santos said after the competition.

The next game, which was the team’s home opener, was played against Walter Johnson just three days later, on Dec. 10. Family, friends and fans watched as the team won the game with a blowout, outscoring the Wildcats 65-5. The game boosted the morale of the players and excitement for the games to come.

On Dec. 14, players and parents received a message from Athletic Director Al Lightsey alerting them of the COVID-19 cases and suspension of the season. When Lightsey received information of the COVID-19 within the team he immediately took important steps to limit the spread of the disease. When we hear about a COVID-19 case within the team, “we contact the department of health and human services …the principal, the administrative team …the school nurse and the parents, who confirm the positive case, and then the student-athlete is out for 10 days,” Lightsey said.

Inside MCPS schools, students, staff and visitors must wear masks at all times to prevent the spread of COVID 19. Even with masks, COVID can still be spread, especially at sporting events where athletes and spectators may be unable to social distance. With rising cases of COVID-19 within the community, it has become even more important to wear masks and social distance whenever possible.

The players are hopeful that they will be able to resume their season soon. “It’s really fun to be part of a team and represent your school. Even though we haven’t had many games, it was nice to get support from friends and classmates at our first home game,” freshman Isabella Davis-Astada said

After winter break, the team will reassess and decide if it is safe to return to practices and games. If the team decides that it is safe to return to play, the next game will be against rival Churchill on Jan. 4.