The Return of Mayfair's Spring Sports
As fall and winter sports come to a close, the spring season is soon approaching. Due to COVID-19, this spring season may be the first time that students get to practice alongside their teammates on campus and compete. Sports including boys and girls tennis, golf, soccer, track and field, baseball, softball, and boys volleyball are all planning to host in-person practices and possibly competitions. From only being able to take part in sports over a virtual google meet, the dynamic of an in-person practice, although socially distant, is planned to be a great and exciting step in the right direction for student athletes.
On March 5, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) announced that outdoor and indoor sports are allowed to resume in-person practices. Since the California Department of Public Health updated the Youth Sports Guidance Document on March 4, there are clear guidelines that allow for high school athletes throughout California to come together with their teammates and begin to experience their sport in real life again. According to CIF, “CIF member schools in countries with adjusted case rate of 14 or less per 100,000 may begin all outdoor sports, including CIF high contact outdoor sports,” and with the case rate in Los Angeles being 5.2 per 100,000, as stated by ABC News, it puts our County way below the limited case rate.
Regarding the precautions required for such practices to occur, there are several safety measures that everyone has to follow. These include markers where each athlete has to stand six feet apart and wait to be checked-in and have their temperature examined by their coach to ensure that it is safe for the athlete to practice. Also, athletes must fill out a COVID-19 screening form before coming to practice on the Monsoon Athletics website. Recently, an investment was made to provide each athlete with one Mayfair face mask to wear at practice and during competitions.
Mayfair’s Athletic Director Dennis Guerra has been working towards allowing athletes to participate in sports on campus, and believes that there has been a great increase in success recently. When asked what his goals for this season were, his response was, “We are so excited to get teams back on campus. That has been my goal since last May and I am pleased to say we have reached that to the very best of our ability while following State and County guidelines. Our district office and our school administration have been amazing and extremely supportive of these endeavours the whole time. Thanks to all of them for their support and help.”
Coming from student athletes that will be participating in upcoming Spring sports and practices, many of them are all around excited to be able to go back in person. Senior track and field sprinter Ahliyah Curry feels “mostly excited to come back” and acknowledges that with going through the pandemic, she took being in a sport for granted, and hopes that with going back in person she can “have a taste of being in track and field one last time before graduating.” Alexis Pendleton, a senior varsity soccer player, added, “My opinion on going back to practicing on campus is that I am very grateful for it. It’s my last season in high school and I am honestly just glad that there was a way we could do this while trying our hardest to be safe during times like these.” She found motivation to stay involved in her sport during quarantine by having a mutual hope in the success of the season with her teammates and coaches. Despite being apart from her teammates, Pendleton “hopes that we make this season count - we’re all going to be playing for Coach Sal.”
Additionally, Junior golfer Rendell Furguiele wants to take part in these practices to get some time out of the house and to reconnect with his teammates and believes that it is great that they are able to practice together again. One goal for the upcoming season is to try and practice as much as he can so he can get back to where he was before quarantine and hopes to have a fun experience. Mayfair’s Class of 2021 Salutatorian and varsity tennis player Madison Nguyen is glad to be back and practicing on campus, with tennis being her “social sanctuary where she can challenge herself physically and mentally, and most importantly, reunite with old friends.” Although getting a little rusty from not playing as often, Nguyen expresses a few goals for this season: “Getting back into the groove and contribute to a Suburban League Championship for Mayfair girls’ varsity tennis team; achieving a new personal win record; and most importantly having fun and bonding with teammates, working towards a single goal in solidarity and in unity.”
After almost a year of isolation and time away from sports, many athletes are very excited to get back into the swing of things and experience their sport in person once more. This step gives a lot of hope in the upcoming season and could possibly allow for many new opportunities for coaches and athletes all over California.