Disappointment and positivity: how spring athletes react and adapt to the season cancellation

Story by Ellie Campbell
Co-Associate Sports Editor

Photo by Oscar Walsh
Photo Editor

The national coronavirus outbreak has abruptly disrupted the lives of South Pasadena residents. Many are sheltered up in their homes, worried about their jobs, and uncertain about the future. At SPHS, most aspects of student life have completely disappeared, including the spring sports season which robs over 350 athletes of an important part of their life. 

The spring sports season is the biggest of the year, leaving 10 different teams in considerable disappointment. Of all the athletes, the cancelation has hit seniors the hardest. 

“It’s definitely hard to come to terms with the fact that I won’t be able to play high school volleyball anymore,” senior volleyball captain Dylan Schreibfeder said. “Even though I’ll be playing at the next level, I will miss playing sports in high school because it has put me in situations that create a more enjoyable high school experience and allowed me to represent my school and community.”

Some students have found it difficult to come to terms with their new reality, while others athletes are approaching this interruption with understanding.

“Missing out on an entire season of softball is a huge bummer, but if we have to not play to keep the players, coaches, and the umpires safe, then it’s worth the wait,” junior softball player Kate Buckley said. 

Although many committed senior athletes will lose valuable competition time, there is one silver lining. The cancellation offers them an opportunity to focus on other aspects of their athletic training before the collegiate season.

“[The cancellation] was expected. I just see this as an opportunity to focus on my weaknesses like my poor hamstring strength,” senior Tianhao Wei, a triple jumper committed to Colombia, said. “I’ve had a lot of trouble keeping a healthy hamstring, so keeping in shape and working on those muscles I need to work on will only make me 100 percent ready for my collegiate career.”

Many athletes can still shoot hoops or practice setting a volleyball by themselves, but other athletes have no way of training during quarantine. Athletes dependent on facilities, such as swimmers and golfers, cannot practice at all until social distancing guidelines end.

“[Quarantine] was even more frustrating when I realized there was nowhere I could swim, so my body was not going to be in competitive shape for a while,” sophomore swimmer Laurian Lien said. “I know it will be very difficult to get back to where I once was for next year’s season.”

With no more practices or tournaments, student athletes have found themselves with open schedules and more free time. While most are doing typical quarantine activities — like binge-watching and gaming — some have slowly transitioned to new hobbies or expanded on past interests. Sophomore swimmer Sadie Metcalfe has begun selling homemade earrings online and fellow sophomore golfer Ark Chang is focusing on his music career. 

“I miss golf a lot and I’m sad to have finished the season so early on, but now I have time to spend on other things I am interested in,” Chang said.

The coronavirus outbreak has been a stark reminder that nothing is guaranteed. As the world stops, student athletes are still wrestling with this unprecedented time with a wide spectrum of emotions. In the meantime, they wait patiently for the next chance to play.

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