New Look, Same Goals

Conestoga Activities Adapt to, Overcome Changes in Competitions During Pandemic


Olivia Priefert

The high school choir performs in masks during a December 2020 concert. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought forth many changes in the way events and contests are held.

Murray, NEB.–Activities such as sports and fine arts, though not called off due to the pandemic, have been forced to take on a new look. For sports, the huge cheering crowds that fill stadiums and gyms are, at least for now, a thing of the past.

But the Conestoga Broadcasting YouTube channel has proved to be an effective remedy for the obstacle of crowd limits at Conestoga Public Schools. With the recently installed Hudl Focus camera in the gym, and another new video camera, games are able to be streamed directly to their YouTube channel.

This provides an opportunity for friends, relatives from around the country, and fans to watch Conestoga sports while still staying safe in the comfort of their own home.

Other precautions, such as masking when possible-even during competitions in some cases-have had to be instituted.

Fortunately, most everyone is understanding of the precautions to some degree. One student athlete, Taylor McClatchey, said “The pandemic has put a hold on nearly everything, but it’s nice that we’re still able to engage in these activities while also staying safe.”

The fine arts have had to adapt to the realities of living during a pandemic as well. Much like sporting events, performances by the music department have been conspicuously barren of spectators due to the restrictions. Only the performer’s immediate family members are allowed to attend in person. For everyone else, concerts may be viewed via the Conestoga Broadcasting YouTube channel as they stream live.

The Cougar’s speech team, the Trendsetters, are also finding themselves faced with a new method of competing. Many of their meets are conducted virtually on zoom, or asynchronously with a prerecorded video.

The changes aren’t totally unwelcome though. Sophomore speecher Ella Lewis reported “The asynchronous tournaments are my favorite because you just submit a video, and they’re pretty easy.”

In sports and activities alike, this year has been undeniably different. There have been additional hurdles to overcome, but a spirit of ingenuity and perseverance has been what’s carried us through. We have conquered challenges and discovered small areas of respite from stressful daily life. Now we approach the end. Even though the necessary precautions to get us to this point are less than ideal, they showcase our ability to adapt to new situations, and to succeed in harsh circumstances. It seems that this virus, intending to harm us, has made us stronger through our conviction to overcome.