As a result of the recent changes of Santa Clara County’s COVID-19 watchlist moving from red tier to purple tier, all organized sports have been suspended. This means that teams are unable to meet or practice in person until further notice. This change has altered season plans for all athletes.
For varsity football player senior Cory Hallada, the news has been disappointing. “I don’t like it at all, but things like this can happen,” he said. “It’s been incredibly frustrating just because, you know, we are going into this year thinking, ‘Oh, we’re going to go to Hawaii, we’re going to play Paly.’ So we were expecting a lot.”
Despite the restrictions, the football team has managed to stay in touch and exercise weekly. “We definitely talk in our group chats about things we can do if we can’t go to practice,” Hallada said. “We’re definitely just in coordination on things we can do outside of practice, whether that’s conditioning, or maybe even down the line, we can get together and do stuff again.”
The virus has also taken a toll on the social aspect of sports. The cheer team has felt the restrictions to in-person practices. “Being unable to practice in-person has taken away a huge aspect of the community we’ve always had on the cheer team,” senior Ellie Gleyzer said. “Getting to practice in person for such a limited time has made it way harder to get to know one another and create a strong bond as a whole, cohesive unit.”
Changes to routines have caused difficulties communicating and coordinating over Zoom. Senior Emily Zhao says that her house doesn’t have enough space to be able to truly dance. “In my house, I’m knocking stuff over when I’m trying to dance,” she said. “It’s hard to go full out when you’re dancing. Also, if people are teaching you choreography, it’s rather difficult to see their whole body and actually get the rhythm down.”
Another aspect that has been affected by the restrictions is competition. However, the cheer team has been able to compete virtually. “Competition season is also going to start very soon, so we are going to do virtual competitions, and hopefully, if we win, we will be getting to go to nationals in-person this year,” Cheer Team Captain senior Amelie Solis said.
For athletes in hopes of using their senior year to increase chances of recruitment, that opportunity has become much slimmer. Hallada feels as if he has missed an opportunity. “There are a lot of schools, that maybe if I have a good year, I could get interest from them, but that’s out of the realm of possibility at this point,” he said “I’m not going to be able to use senior film, which is, a lot of the time, a huge part of what gets people recruited.”
In spite of all of the restrictions to sports this season, Gleyzer remains optimistic. “Even with the million uncertainties surrounding our season, the whole team is working extremely hard to go with the flow and maintain a positive attitude,” she said.