Returning to Sports After Covid-19 Crisis

Aileen Diaz, Staff Writer

With the Coronavirus disease outbreak, all sports were stopped and some have decided to cancel the whole season for the remainder of the year. With no other choice, student-athletes have been waiting for a green-light from Los Angeles County so that they can proceed with their training. After a long wait, some schools have allowed students and certain sports to return and have practice as a team. Arroyo High School is now allowing certain sports to continue after the long wait, and students are excited to see what this new season has for them. Some of the sports that have started to practice at school are Cross Country, Football, and Cheer.

Although the school has allowed students to physically practice, some parents are still not ready to let their children go back. Given the circumstances, some students have started to practice and continue the training on their own. 

Liliana Zhou (10), from the Cross Country team, explains some of the challenges that she has while training by herself, “For me, as I go into my second year of cross, there are indeed many challenges when running by myself, like not having enough motivation to run and maybe having some little injuries from time to time.” For others, the hardest part is not getting permission from parents, but getting back to the routine of exercising every day. 

Jared Calleja (12), part of the Arroyo football team describes that one of his new challenges for this upcoming season is, “Getting back into shape with all the time that was taken during most of the pandemic… definitely getting to practice hard and strong with all the restrictions and rules put on us.” 

All student-athletes and coaches have to follow the guidelines to keep everyone safe and be able to keep training. Students and coaches have to wear a mask at all times and are only allowed to take it off when exercising. They also have to stay more than 6 ft apart from their teammates. As athletes return to this different environment compared to their prior seasons, they sustain a hopeful and motivated spirit. 

Karla Cedillo (12), captain of the cross country team exclaims, “Well, I have hope that we will all run and bring back some new [personal records].” Overall Cedillo, “feels happy that the season is still running, although it’s not as much, [she’s] glad that for seniors [including herself] can have a run as [they] go.” 

Ruby Perez-Mendez also agrees and she feels that “this Cross Country season has a lot to offer now that [everyone] is going through a phase that no one has ever gone through before.” She adds on and says, “It has been interesting to see all my teammates with masks on, but I do feel that we are going to do an excellent job this season.” 

Many are experiencing mixed feelings and are still confused with everything that is currently going on in the world. Especially when the athletes can’t see all of their teammates and have to stay apart from each other, but they are still going strong and keep working hard for when the time of competition arrives. 

Varsity athlete, Victor Carillo (11) expresses his feelings about the upcoming Cross Country season and explains that everything is, “Definitely different. Something we didn’t expect. Although we don’t have to practice in the heat as much as we did last year during summer, we still need to give it our all. Races don’t stop and neither do we!”

Damien Sevilla,  senior, who is also part of the Cross country team, adds on, “This new season feels strange and different,” but both athletes keep going to practice, motivated, with a positive attitude, and give it their best in every run. 

Even with this new phase that everyone is experiencing, our excellent athletes have goals for their next, or in this case, their last season. Sevilla, comments that some of his goals are, “to letter varsity and run sub 17 in the 3-mile race,” and he is, “very grateful for the opportunity for the sport to continue and to be part of it.” 

Among those goals, Senior Jared Calleja reveals that the goals for the football team are to, “Win back the MVL title and have a shot at CIF and state.” Calleja affirms that the team is, “Coming hard this year to get as many titles as possible,” and remains with a positive attitude to demonstrate that, “even with the pandemic [the team] can still accomplish and overcome the challenges that are laid out.” 

As sports slowly return, students remain hopeful that classes will also be back by next semester. The pandemic taught most people that nothing should be taken for granted and to practice gratitude for every opportunity given, no matter how small it is. Athletes will continue to work hard, improve every day, and keep taking care of each other by social distancing and following all the instructions given by the school so that they can achieve their goals.