How High School and Club Sports Resume During COVID-19
One of the things that got hit really hard due to COVID-19 is school sports. Many high schools are not even having sports seasons this year, while some are, with appropriate safety guidelines, of course. Both high school and club sports have been trying to figure out ways to continue their seasons in a safe manner. I will be focusing on four sports at Mayfair: football, soccer, volleyball, and basketball.
According to senior Amanda Scott, Mayfair High School’s Girls Soccer Team is not in-person for conditioning, and they haven’t practiced together yet, but they do still workout. They all join a Google Meet and workout together as a team. Sometimes they break up into groups of newcomers and returners, and sometimes the whole team works out together. On Mondays, they do an ab workout, Wednesdays they do a full body workout and sometimes kickboxing, and Fridays they do skill work or fitness Fridays where they run a mile. Club soccer is going on right now but it is very limited. Wearing masks is a choice because they are not coming into contact with each other, and they have to remain over six feet apart. Instead of playing against each other, they do passing and shooting drills. As the COVID-19 case numbers begin to go down, they will be able to do more together. As of right now, her club is not participating in any games or tournaments.
At the moment, Mayfair’s basketball team is not conditioning or practicing in-person. They are also staying online and doing virtual workouts as a team. They do arm, chest, and leg workouts, and on Thursdays they practice dribbling. AAU teams and tournaments are going on right now. Their COVID-19 protocols are more lenient, and the mask requirements are optional in most places in Orange County. Each gym has their own guidelines which must be followed when using their facility.
From boys volleyball, Braulio Aquino informed me on what the entire volleyball program, including girls, are doing for their training. The conditioning is taking place in -person, but with stricter Coronavirus guidelines. They have to wait outside of the school, check in online, and get temperature checked. The volleyball program is then split up into groups, and they all have to line up in rows distanced at more than six feet. Masks are to be worn at all times, and they have to walk away in order to get a breath or drink of water. They all do the same workouts at the same time, which are called aloud by the coach. Club volleyball for girls is currently going on right now. For my club, we have strict Coronavirus rules. No parents are allowed in the facility, we must wear masks at all times, we check our temperature upon entrance, our chairs are distanced from each other (which is where water breaks are taken), we have to sanitize our hands after every break, and we have to wipe down our chairs before we leave. My coach has a huge UV light, which he uses to sanitize the volleyballs and the court. He uses disinfectant spray to wipe down the nets as well. At tournaments we have to wear masks the whole time, temperature check and screening questions are done upon entrance, teams don't high five before or after the game, and matches are now played back-to-back with no breaks.
The only female football player on Mayfair’s Football team, Anisa Garcia, says that their conditioning and training is not what she hoped her season would be like, but she is very grateful and fortunate to be able to even be out there putting in work. CIF guidelines restrict them to only be able to go out on the field and condition as safely as possible. A usual practice consists of drills like ladders, sprints, change or direction, and overall agility. The players are very happy they have the best coaches who are willing to go out there and coach, considering the limitations. Practices are broken up into pods, no contact, and socially distanced at all times. Players arrive with the same small pod they stay with during their time on the field, to reduce any sort of cross-contact. Masks are required the whole time on the field, and the coaches heavily enforce safety guidelines at practice at all times. This year, due to COVID-19, club football has become a new thing in order for high school teams to be able to go out and play. The main point of the club season is for seniors to have their final season, and for juniors (along with the other classes) to get film and recruited. Plus, the underclassmen get to have an experience at playing at a varsity level. The COVID-19 protocol for club football includes temperature checks upon arrival, plenty of hand sanitizer usage, and wearing masks when players are not in their pads.
Overall, it’s been really hard to adjust to the way the Coronavirus has affected us all, especially in sports. These examples show how much the students wish to continue their sport: they will follow any guidelines and acclimate to any changes made as long as they get to play.