Wrestling During Covid


Madilyn Gonzales

Wrestler Kayla Manning securing a hold during a match at Klein Collins.

Stephanee Hartfield, Staffer


There have been multiple different sports that have started to practice and have games during Covid at Klein schools. One of the first sports to be brought back was wrestling, which is a high contact game. Although the athletes are happy, there is a lot of speculation as to how the KISD schools can follow correct Covid protocol and participate in sports at the same time. With wrestling up and running, it’s important to understand the new rules in place and how they plan to stop the continued rising of Covid cases here at Klein Collins.

Adapting To The New Rules

Wrestling practice this year is a far cry from what student-athletes have participated in the years prior to Covid-19. Wearing masks and staying six feet apart have been challenging new adaptations for regular students during the school day. The after-school practice that usually entails strenuous exercise makes it even more difficult for KC athletes to follow and adapt to these new rules. 

“I think overall we’re getting fairly well,” Jacob Rasmussen said. “There’s a couple of instances where people take their masks off, but most of the time, everyone’s doing what they’re supposed to.” Recently, more changes have been made to practice following the switch to indoor exercise. The wrestlers now practice in even smaller groups on mats with the same sparring partner to aid contact tracing.

The time difference between previous seasons and this year is a significant change in the wrestling schedule. “Usually by this time, we would already be on the mat, wrestling, and have an idea of who’s gonna be Varsity,” sophomore  Johnathan Frausto said.  “This year, we’re really taking a step back and being safer; making sure everything is clean and that we take a shower after practice,” 

There are further rules being made for new wrestlers on the team aside from normal Covid protocol. Athletes who have been on the team before have also seen changes to the social hierarchy of wrestling amidst Covid. “This year has been more structured when it comes to respect between the incoming freshmen, the upperclassmen and the athletes respecting coach,” senior Ashley Morris said. 

Safety During Practice

Despite KISD having rules set in place to prevent the spread of Covid, student athletes have taken personal precautions to keep themselves and their teammates safe in and out of practice.

“I’ve been checking my temperature before practice, using hand sanitizer, washing my hands frequently, not unnecessarily coming into contact with people and keeping my distance during practice,” Morris said.

When asked the same question, wrestlers Jacob Rasmussen, Steven Hartfield, Jaida Rucker, Ashley Morris, and their coach, Kenny Rucker, responded with similar statements, each of them highlighting the importance of keeping sanitized and social distancing.

Opinions About The Wrestling Season

Wrestlers have already started their season and participated in their debut matches not long ago.  It was an important decision for KISD to start the season during Corona, and students were also left to think about their health as wrestlers. One conflict of interest was the rise in Covid cases with schools like Klein Oak who continued to participate in sports at school and in competition.

 “I don’t feel good at all about wrestling with schools that have higher cases but football got to have a season, so I guess it’s only fair that their wrestling team gets the season they deserve too,” sophomore Steven Hartfield said. “ It all comes down to what you’re doing to make sure your germs aren’t spreading to other schools.”


A student athlete faces many challenges this year, especially those involved in sports like wrestling that are based around close contact with your opponent. Wrestlers are constantly touching and don’t have the advantage of a contactless practice like other sports, so it’s important for students to consistently feel safe.

“I’ve felt like coach has always put us first and that he’s always gonna look out for our health so I’ve always felt safe,” Frausto said.  All the wrestlers expressed how they also felt safe at all times during practices.

“Things are running pretty good, the protocols that we have in place are working well,” Rucker said. “I have no regrets at all when it comes to the season start date back in March. Our season had already been pushed back in November and there was no way to tell what would happen.”

Completing the season is going to be a huge feat for all Klein ISD sports teams and it’s important to know what the coaches have in planning for the athletes with Covid along with the regular schedule. 

“My hope is that we’re able to finish out the wrestling season without any of our students getting sick. You know, we’ve had some kids that have had to stay home but that’s not necessarily because of wrestling, but the nature of the pandemic. My goal along with the other coaches is to just keep everybody safe and get them through the District Regional State Tournament. Coaches will be trying to do the best job possible with following protocols. We’ll be making sure our players stay masked up along with following the other rules to help carry us through the tournament and the season as a whole.” 

Klein Collins staff and students are doing their best to slow the advancement of the pandemic and that extends to our athletes. Both student athletes and the coaches in charge of them are consistently following protocol and hoping to make this year as enjoyable as possible, while also promising the safety of students to all concerned parents and guardians.