The atmosphere in sports venues across the country and area is entirely different this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.
No fans will be allowed at high school basketball games and other winter athletic activities in the area, so gyms that normally carry raucous environments full of cheers and chants will be eerily quiet on game days, the sounds of squeaking sneakers, coaches’ directions and referees’ whistles amplified instead.
Players in the Dogwood and Seminole districts have to provide their own energy. But at Nelson County, school officials, with the help of the community, have implemented a way to provide a unique version of support for athletes.
Thanks to an effort headed by athletic director Greg Mullins, the Governors athletes at NCHS will see the stands partially filled — with cutout versions of fans.
According to Mullins, about three dozen cutouts have been sold and will be set up for games. So during breaks in action, players can look over and see those who support their endeavors.
Mullins hopes more cutouts will be sold in the coming days and weeks to fill out the stands. The effort also helps offset the loss in revenue from gate fees, which generally are used to pay game officials.