On Wednesday, March 10, the Boys Varsity and Junior Varsity Basketball players were messaged that a meeting was to be had before practice. Many players thought that it was to go over film for their game the next day. However others had heard the rumors and word got loose; a player had gotten COVID-19. A lot of uncertainty and worry filled the room and players awaited the official word of Coach Josh Ortmann.
Ortmann walked into the room with noticeable distress on his face. The room went silent as players awaited what was about to be said.
“Well guys, it’s happened. I don’t know if you guys have heard or not but [name omitted] got COVID,” Ortmann said. “Effective immediately you guys have to go into a 10-day quarantine and will be doing Distance Learning. As of now, the next time we can come back is the day of our Section game.”
The players were in shock. Everyone felt down and was disheartened, but Ortmann tried to keep everyone positive.
“Look, guys, I know it’s hard but we can’t make excuses,” he told the team. “You guys have been working hard all year from last spring until now. Keep your heads up and be willing to work through this thing and we’ll find a way. We always do.”
Activites Director Tom Bauman walked in as the talk went on. He seemed disheartened about the situation.
“This sucks,” he said.
A moment of silence filled the room as he gathered his thoughts. Ortmann and other players caught him up to speed on what had already talked about.
“So, from what I know, you guys still have a season,” Bauman said. “Unlike the football team, you guys will be able to play your playoff game next Friday. The only bad thing is that you guys won’t be able to hold any practices until then. So, it’s really up to you guys to figure a plan to stay active until then.”
The postures of many of the players started to change as they were told there are still a chance to play. As players started to chat amongst one another, Ortmann said his last words before he would let everyone go.
“We’ll have a Google Meet tomorrow about what this next week or so will look like,” he concluded. “Seniors, it’s up to you to keep everyone engaged. We all need to have the same goal in mind if we want to find the success we want. Please remember to go to all your classes and do your assignments. We’ll see you guys later.”
So what does this mean for the boy’s basketball team?
With their next game being the first round of the section playoffs, it brings a whole new challenge to them. The individual players are finding ways to workout. Whether that be shooting hoops in their driveway, lifting with weights they have at home, or going on runs as the weather proceeds to get nicer. Together everyone is working for a common goal: go on one of the best playoff in the team’s and school’s history.
Their first official practice post-quarantine will be tomorrow, March 18, followed by their playoff against Elk River at home on Friday, March 19.
For more updates on boy’s basketball feel free to follow the team’s Twitter account – @BHS_BisonHoops.
Photo by Lindsay Hartmann