Was college football too risky this season?


Cori Bohan (11), Erin Mayle (12), Kai Dages (12), and Carli Gordahazy (12) watch the 2022 Rose Bowl game together. They celebrate together as a buckeye scores a touchdown!

Erin Mayle (Senior), Feature Editor

    The 2021-2022 college football season is coming to a close and the bowl games are wrapping up. While many fans were excited to watch them, some were fearful of packed stadiums acting as COVID super spreaders. This season, students at North have had to make the decision whether to stay home or take the risk of being exposed to COVID by attending the games. But, as the Omicron variant has led to a spike in COVID cases, some think college football games and the more recent bowl games were riskier than ever.

   Joey Endres (12), is a student at Westerville North who has watched a lot of college football this season, but did so from home, away from the large crowds.

   “I have no problem with the games being held during this rise in COVID-19 cases, but I think there should be more limits on fans such as vaccine mandates and mandating mask-wearing,” Endres said.

List of cancelled 2021 college football bowl games.

   Valerie Thomson is a school nurse at Westerville North and agrees that the games this season were not as safe as they could have been.

   “I was concerned about the college football games being held as athletes seldom seem to wear masks during sports competitions,” Thomson said.

   Due to the recent COVID surge and the new, highly transmissible Omicron variant, many school districts are considering going remote until cases are more under control.

   “I do think it’s time that we go remote for a couple of weeks because Omicron transmits much easier making it more likely to spread through our school,” Endres said.

   Thomson has seen firsthand the impacts of the new variant and is worried students are not taking the virus seriously.

   “We have seen an avalanche of COVID cases since winter break. Many people got together in different ways and were possibly very lax in protecting themselves from COVID,” Thomson said.

   Endres and Thomson believe if going remote isn’t an option, there are some precautions that North students and staff should take in the meantime.

   “I think staff should be enforcing wearing masks properly because there are too many times I see them on people’s chins or not covering their noses, or even some not wearing them at all,” Endres said.

   “Masks must be worn over the nose and mouth, with very little gapping. We need to maintain our physical distance from others while at school. Six feet is optimal, especially at lunch. Wash your hands frequently. Do not touch your nose, mouth, or eyes with unclean hands. Stay home if you are ill. Get tested for COVID if you have the symptoms,” Thomson said.

   Many believe North students and staff should make an effort to be more cautious with their decisions. In order to maintain the health of our school and reduce the possibility of going remote, some think big gatherings for sporting events may not be worth the risk.

   “We all need to take the virus seriously,” Thomson said.