The locker room lockout

Walter J. Hodges Stadium opened up in the early Spring.

Photo Credit: Madeline Barker

Walter J. Hodges Stadium opened up in the early Spring.

At Walter J. Stadium, the varsity football team has been prohibited from using the beautiful brand new home locker rooms for the entire existence of the stadium, but it is time for this to change. 

The administration made the decision to let the football team use the locker rooms at the stadium in the summer of 2020 as a precautionary measure to help the team’s social distance and minimize the spread of Covid. 

However with the fans filing back in and masks coming off, it is time for the covid regulations from the heat of the pandemic to be reevaluated, the football team should be allowed to use the locker rooms in the stadium.

The administration has stated that the locker rooms will not be used by the football team. In order to minimize the spread of Covid, the football team uses the baseball hitting facility instead. The size of the football and the locker rooms were their main points, arguing that the players would be much too close together. 

This seems like a strange hill to die on since football games and other sporting events at the stadium have no covid regulations. The fans, the student section, and the marching band are all able to sit next to each other without issue, yet the ones playing the game are forced to walk to the hitting facility, where more than half the players sit on the ground due to the lack of benches. 

Along with this, the players on the team are already around each other constantly, making this small cautionary measure pointless. The Ohio High School Athletics Association has made no rules or requirements regarding locker rooms, so why should our school place these restrictions on us.

The locker rooms are not prohibited to all sports teams though, some varsity sports have been using the locker rooms since last year, such as Boys Lacrosse and Field Hockey. 

Many current and former players will agree that some of their favorite memories come in the locker room after the game celebrating a hard-fought win with your teammates. The opportunity for these memories has been taken away. 

It is unfair that this rule only applies to the football team. All teams deserve to use the stadium equally. By writing letters to Mr. Durst and Mr. Devoll lobbying for this rule change, we can finally get the chance to use the beautiful locker rooms that were built.