Athletes return to sports as new season begins

Participants reflect on year away from teammates, competitions

By Julian Sevillano, Reporter

As Season 2 sports begin, many athletes have been reflecting on their year off and say they are excited to play as a team again.

“In the thick of quarantine, I became lazy and lost lots of motivation,” senior Cole Matthes, who is on the track team, said. “Being able to get outside, workout, and see your friends can really help your mental health.”

This season’s sports began on March 22 and include track and field, baseball, field hockey, lacrosse, tennis, badminton and fencing, with athletes still having to play in masks, abstain from club sports, and get tested weekly. Spectators are limited to only parents, and they must also follow social distancing

“Students can still only participate in one sport during each individual season and may not sign up for multiple teams,” Dana Kuwahara, Head of Athletics and Physical Education, wrote in an email to the student body. “Parents from different households must remain at least 6-feet distanced from other families and be masked at all times.”

During the pandemic, students say they found other ways to entertain themselves, spending more time on their non-athletic hobbies.

“Coronavirus hasn’t affected me much when it comes to sports, but I was able to shift my focus to other things during that time,” freshman Benjamin Garcia-Meza, who plays soccer, said. “I am really excited for school sports because playing sports with classmates is always fun.”

Athletes say that the many new sports beginning during Season 2 will allow them more opportunities to work together and bond as a team, much like they did before the pandemic.

“I am looking forward to lacrosse because I get to compete with a group of guys, and it’s great to have a sense of community again,” sophomore Cooper Loveless, who is on the lacrosse team, said. “The social aspect of sports is very important and lots of fun. Not having that was very tricky.”

Season 2 ends on April 30, and Season 3 begins on May 3 and extends until June 4, past the end of the school year.

“Playing sports is a great way to start off the summer,” freshman Brayden Wasserman said about sports continuing after classes have ended. “I think those who haven’t been able to play their sport of choice this year would appreciate it.”

Senior athletes say they are happy they can spend their last months in high school just playing team sports again.

“I am very glad I can go out for a sport during my last semester in high school,” Matthes said. “It would be great to compete, but if not, I am glad I can get out with friends and exercise.”