How are athletes feeling about having no sports so far?

Photo was taken by: Ian Martinez, August 27, 2019

After the Covid-19 pandemic and the surge of cases in March of 2020, WUHSD along with other high school districts across the nation decided to stop all sports and on-campus activities due to the health risk students faced by competing and practicing. Califonia high school had previously closed campus along with sports in mid-March of 2020. When news revealed that the school would reopen for practice in mid-October of 2020 most athletes were enthusiastic and had a positive outlook of schools reopening. After a month of the campus being reopened for athletes, WUHSD announced that due to an increase of cases they would close campus for a two-week period and potentially reopen after Thanksgiving break. The hope of cases declining over break diminished after cases continued to rise and chances of a decline were slim. On the last week of November, WUHSD made its announcement of closing campus for the rest of the year and made hints of reopening campus after the New Years’ in hopes of a vaccine being released by this time. Hopes of reopening campus were officially crushed after CIF or California Interscholastic Federation, announced on December 1, 2020, that they would postpone all sports and competition until January 1, 2021, at the latest. CIF also announced that all semester one state championships would be canceled and moved them to their semester 2 calendar to provide a longer season and practice time. With sports being reopened and canceled several students admitted to quitting sports and instead focusing on school. Other student-athletes remained positive in their sports and described feeling more motivated and inspired to continue pushing themselves until sports reopen.

Photo provided by: Jaden Rascon

Jaden Rascon plays varsity water polo and is also on the varsity swim team at Cal high school. She is one of several athletes attending Cal as a junior and planned to make a bigger comeback this year after helping Cal win CIF in their division five championships last year. According to Jaden, Covid has provided her with “more time on her hands” due to a lack of practices and competitions, which has caused her to further push herself to workout and run in her backyard. Jaden remains hopeful that sports will continue in her senior year at Cal and is ready to get back into the pool. “It feels like whenever they open up again we have to start over again by getting back in shape,” says Jaden after being asked about her feelings of the campus being reopened then closed again. Although hopeful, Jaden was frustrated when the campus closed down for the second time in November but like most student-athletes, she will continue to participate in water polo in her last year of high school.

Photo provided by: Moses Vicuña

Moses Vicuña is a junior and student-athlete at Cal high school on the JV track and field team. After hearing about sports being shut down in March Moses was extremely upset or in his words “bummed out.” Moses had big plans for his junior year and was planning to prove himself to his team and show his coaches and friends that he was a valuable member of the team. Moses continues to run and workouts on the greenway trail and continues to stay active. He remembers the feeling of excitement after hearing that campus would reopen and was ready to hang out with friends and push his teammates. “When you’re on your own it’s a little harder to motivate yourself,” says Moses after experiencing months of working out without his team. The one thing he misses from practicing is the positivity and motivation that his friends and teammates were able to provide each other with. Moses is still hopeful for his upcoming year and hopes that track and field will be able to hold at least one meet or practice before the end of the school year. Moses continues to workout and set goals for himself although practicing alone and is ready to prove himself next school year because according to him, “the grind never stops.”

Photo provided by: Isabella Dia-Ibarra

Isabella Diaz-Ibarra is also a junior at cal high school and is on the JV team for both volleyball and track and field. She was disappointed about hearing schools stop sports for her junior year and was also relieved due to her having more free time to focus on school. After months of being in quarantine and without seeing her friends and teammates she now misses her sports and wishes that both schools and sports would start up again. When schools reopened for sports she described it as “refreshing to see teammates and everything felt back to normal.” She says that once sports closed again her coach barely reached out to her and she no longer has hopes of a junior season in sports. Isabella is hopeful of a senior season and continues to work out at home and is continuing to do workouts. Although she says school continues to be overwhelming, Isabella pushes herself to workout and is preparing for her senior year of sports since she won’t be competing or participating in sports once she goes to college.