Athletes prepare for a fall sports season clouded in uncertainty

Story by Amber Chen & Audrey Ernst
Staff Writers

Photo by Sarah Lee
Staff Photographer

The coronavirus pandemic has brought spring sports to an unexpected close, and as the crisis continues to escalate, many athletes now fear a fall season closure. Meanwhile, teams are playing a waiting game, training for a season that may never happen.

Fall sports athletes have yet to receive any updates from their school coaches, but most maintain a consistent workout regimen. Coaches are in the dark as well. Most anticipate a prolonged closure through summer preseason and have created home workouts for their athletes.

“My biggest concern isn’t preseason training. With all the online resources that we have access to, I know that we will make preseason training work,” junior volleyball player Lindsey Hirano said. “I am more concerned about whether or not we will even have a season next year. With the new addition of the incoming freshmen and the returning varsity girls, our team is supposed to be stronger than last season. A lot of the girls on varsity are current juniors, so it would be really unfortunate if we are unable to play our senior season.”

Solo sports teams are able to keep virtually the same practice schedule. Most long distance track runners condition and recover by themselves. Even those who run in small groups have continued to train at a safe distance around South Pasadena. Still, training separately takes a toll on the team’s morale and motivation. 

“Our sport is pain centered. We literally go through pain every other practice so it’s really helpful to have others to endure the pain with. It’s hard to train on your own because you have to rely on yourself. Quarantine is hard for runners,” junior captain Lindsay Michels said.

For current juniors, the possibility of forgoing a season comes with the added stress of college recruitment and senior games gone. Missing out on a senior season can mean losing out on being scouted and winning scholarships.

“I was hoping to use this summer to get scouted from local colleges. Not having a senior season to display my skills is going to make it very challenging to get sufficient film out there,” junior football player Valentino Nguyen said.

Some athletes have continued to exercise, regardless if the season happens, as a way to retain a sense of normalcy or for the love of the sport.

“I’ve been running regularly because it just feels normal now to run almost everyday,” sophomore runner Miranda Liu said. “I feel off when I don’t run. When you’re running all you can do is enjoy being outside and it helps relieve stress.”

Athletes across the board have responded to the pandemic in many different ways. Most, however, are continuing to train as hard as ever in the hopes of coming back for the next season. The future is still clouded with uncertainty as cases in South Pasadena and on a national level continue to rise. 

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