Story by Quinn Manzo
Photo by Sarah Lee
The fall sports season kicked off on Monday, Nov. 2, marking the first official athletic activity since the Rio Hondo League cancelled the 2020 spring season last April. Cross country, football, girls and boys volleyball, and girls and boys water polo all followed strict CIF and SPHS health guidelines.
All student-athletes needed to be registered to Health Roster prior to the first day of practices. Students were divided into 25 practice “pods” across the seven sports, each with two coaches and 12 students. Before arriving at practice, each team member must have their athletic clearance paperwork and physical exam uploaded to Health Roster, as well as have their temperature checked and a filled out questionnaire from home.
The athletic department had to make several strict changes to its processes to accommodate for the coronavirus pandemic. During practice both coaches and athletes wear masks, standing six feet apart at all times except for when the athletes are heavily breathing from physical activity, in which they need to stand eight feet apart. Cross country students were allowed to remove their masks once spread out on the field, and water polo and football students did not use any equipment, solely focusing on conditioning for the entire duration of practice.
Athletes are still adjusting to the safety guidelines, but many are happy that their sports are starting up again.
“It was fun and really nice being able to see everybody again,” junior cross country runner Kaden Chai said. “Sometimes it was hard to keep distance while warming up or in tight spaces while running but we were able to most of the time. I’d say it went well and it feels a little like normal again.”
Each sports team will continue to practice along the strict guidelines of the athletic safety plan, maintaining social distancing whilst preparing for upcoming sports events that may open up as the pandemic progresses.