Competition with Caution: Dubs Sports Teams Start Their Seasons


Fall Into Sports: Senior Katherine McWhirter takes her best swing at the plate during a recent Dubs softball game against Mountain View. For all North Atlanta sports teams, new challenges – beyond just heady competition – are presenting themselves in a COVID-impacted sporting environment.

Sports seasons around the nation have been ripped to shreds by COVID-19 since the pandemic shook the world in March. Now in late August, the virus has shown no signs of going away any time soon, meaning even fall sports are being shut down due to the pandemic. However, North Atlanta fall sports are looking to play through the pandemic, as every fall sports team is preparing to start their seasons loaded with pandemic precautions.

The football team was supposed to kick off its season in front of a crowd on September 4 at Wheeler High School, however the game is being postponed due to a COVID-19 case from the Dubs football team. Many students were disappointed to hear the news as they were eager to see how the team would follow up last year’s playoff appearance. While the team is currently on pause and waiting to play their first game, fans and players alike are excited to see how the Warriors will do under recently appointed head coach James Aull. “Coach Aull is a baller,” said senior tight end-linebacker Ned Coleman, “He’s building upon what Coach O did and is further improving the football culture at North Atlanta.”

The cross country team has hit the ground running following a later start in comparison to the rest of the Warrior sports teams. Coaches Antonio McKay and Jerid Morisco dove straight into time trials during the first week of school, and will take this year’s team to Cartersville for their first meet of the season on Saturday morning. This will be no normal season for the Running Warriors, as all APS competition and City Championships have been cancelled until further notice, as well as seven of their 10 originally scheduled weekend invitationals. However, top seniors Ethan Curnow and Andrew Churchill are ready to lead their team and make the most out of their last year as Warriors. “I’m looking at our numbers and I have concluded we’re built different,” said Churchill. “If we do end up going against our region this year, North Atlanta is gonna be on top.”

The volleyball team started off their season strong following several hard weeks of conditioning, beating Whitfield in its first bout of non-region play. The team will then head over to Pace Academy on September 10th to take on the 0-3 Knights. The outlook of their season is unclear, as indoor sports are especially risky in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. Sophomore Lizzie Havey along with the rest of the team is hoping their offseason work can pay off. “It’s been really difficult trying to play since most of our games have been cancelled, but we’re looking forward to whenever we get to play!” said Havey.

Far into non-region play, the softball team is the only North Atlanta squad to have already played multiple games, as they will play their 10th of the season against St. Francis on September 9. The team is currently 3-6, but after a 17-2 landslide win over Galloway, the Warriors are looking to turn the season around. There’s a lot of softball left to be played, as the season — as it stands now — runs until late October. Following a successful 2019, the Dubs are hopeful they will finish this season with another winning record and a shot at postseason play.

Ultimately, the pandemic has been hard on the sports world. There’s no timetable for when everything will go back to normal, when the crowds roared under the Friday night lights and teams could play with no fear of a global pandemic. What is known is that the virus is not going away anytime soon. However, North Atlanta is all for taking the necessary precautions to allow athletes to play in a safe environment. Go Dubs!