Sports to resume in person

Volleyball and track begin while other teams are pushed back

Senior+Cecilia+Mcquid+works+out+on+Syufy+Court.+Mcquid+attends+workouts+twice+a+week+since+it+was+offered+on+Nov.+16.

Noor El Qadah

Senior Cecilia Mcquid works out on Syufy Court. Mcquid attends workouts twice a week since it was offered on Nov. 16.

Paige Retajczyk and Keira Blattberg

WEB EXCLUSIVE The California Interscholastic Federation announced Dec. 1 that the California Department of Public Health will not allow schools to start full in-person practices before Jan. 1.

Although teams have not been allowed to have indoor, in-person practices since last March, the athletics department has hosted multiple meetings and workout sessions over Zoom when in-person training was not an option.

“I am planning on attending practices because I want to get back into shape and be with my team because it is great motivation,” sophomore Josie Flanagan said. “I’m disappointed I will not be able to play volleyball in-person for a while because I was looking forward to playing with my friends, but I understand it’s a safety concern.”

Convent is continuing to keep safety and health at the top of its priorities, having made changes in line with county coronavirus health mandates in order for official sports practices to begin. 

 “Due to the continued surge in COVID-19 infections, the CDPH has postponed the issuance of its updated youth sports guidance,” Head of Athletics and Physical Education Dana Kuwahara wrote in an email to the community.  “The CIF does not expect the CDPH to issue any guidance that allows for schools to return to full practice and competition until after January 1, 2021.”

Although teams cannot start practices, Strength and Conditioning Coach Barclay Spring has been providing workout sessions on Syufy Court. Workouts are offered only by preregistration in order to eliminate transmission of the coronavirus. 

“After each workout session Coach Barclay Spring sanitizes all the equipment and gets it ready for the next group,” Athletics Director Elena De Santis said. “The current requirements are face coverings or masks and always 6 feet apart from each other.” 

With the concern of safety and health, the CIF removed all Regional and State Championship events from the Season 1 Sports calendar. CIF and NCS also decided to postpone the girls tennis and golf seasons to the 2021 spring season. 

“I’m really upset that the tennis season has been pushed back,” senior Isabel Hoppmann said. “I miss socializing with my friends and especially with my tennis teammates because we were always super close during that time.”

In contrast to other team sports, tennis can practice in compliance with COVID-19 mandates because singles players are at least 10 feet apart when competing. Doubles players, however, may have to shift to singles matches.

“It is interesting to hear that tennis was pushed back because it seems like more of a socially-distanced sport than volleyball,” junior Kelly Cronan said. “There’s also the uncertainty of whether or not doubles will be able to play this year which is unfortunate because that’s my role on the team.” 

Zoom workouts, offered since the beginning of the school year, provided a way for athletes to stay in-shape while at home, but many of the tennis team members have not attended. Hoppman says many of her friends and teammates are waiting until physical practices will start. 

“I joined the Zoom once,” Hoppmann said. “There wasn’t as much participation as I anticipated, which was sad to see.”

With sports teams not practicing, freshmen students are missing out on opportunities for the bonding and the chance to get to know upperclassmen through a team sport. 

“I am planning on playing volleyball and basketball,” freshman Courtney Hall said. “But since I am a freshman who doesn’t know the traditions, I don’t know any different so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on what would be happening right now with sports.”

While freshmen, like Hall, prepare to embark on their new Convent athletics experience, sophomores and upperclassmen are gearing up for a different season tailored to the new, COVID-19 safety guidelines. 

“I am looking forward to being with my team again and just being able to play sports in general.” Flanagan said. “I miss the sports and miss the team spirit and fun that comes with it.”

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