Sports return to SCHS amidst a pandemic


SIX FEET APART: SCHS girls’ soccer team meets for a socially distanced practice. Photo provided by Francisco Caudillo

By: Reaghan Mulligan | Opinion Editor & Brooklyn Staab | Publicity Manager

September 9, 2020

As SCHS approaches the fourth week of online learning, school sports teams are jumping into action. Despite the fact that students cannot return to school, coaches and athletes are eager to get their teams up and running. 

In mid-July, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the upcoming guidelines for fall semester school reopening to the public. “Schools that don’t meet the requirements must begin the school year through distance learning,” Newsom said. He did not, however, discuss regulations for school-affiliated extracurriculars.

TEMPERATURE CHECK: Assistant coach Steven Fagundes takes the temperature of sophomore varsity soccer team member Kenzie Gutowski. Photo provided by Francisco Caudillo

Teams began to meet up again for socially-distanced practices as of this week, following a set of  “Phase 1” rules regarding safety matters. “In Phase 1 we are limiting groups to no more than nine athletes to one coach. Those groups stay consistent to assist with contact tracing, should there be any issues,” cheer coach Amber Smith-Stanco said. “We’ll do daily ‘temp’ checks and health questionnaires and remain physically distanced without any use of equipment.” These mandates are school-wide and apply to all sports teams.

“We’ve been doing video-zoom practices,” junior JV Girls Basketball player Samantha Shaw said. “And twice a week we do conditioning in person, in small groups of around six girls, no more than ten. We wear masks when we come into practice and when we leave.”

For many students, watching sports return, but not classes, can feel frustrating. “When all of the school’s focus is on sports it makes me feel like less motivated since the football team can see friends, but I can’t see my study group,” freshman Mia Page said.  

On a similar note, freshman Emma Hudelson suggests that sports just need to be smart about practicing again, so that we all can go back to in person school some time soon. Many students see the importance of teams meeting, but have felt insignificant due to the prioritization of sports teams. 

All students deserve to be seen equally important at school. For many, school is their safe place, so some may feel excessively stressed during these times. Seeing sports come back, but not academic classes, can create frustration–however, it is much easier to conduct safe, outdoors sports practices than indoor classes.

“Sports are a mental and physical outlet for students. Continuing to adhere to the safety guidelines at practice is essential to ensure games in the future,” Smith-Stanco said. Following safety precautions is important in order to eventually get academic classes back to in-person-instruction as well. Hopefully games can start again soon so we can show our Tritons some support!

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