Athletics Return


Dance team posing on the field at practice on October 27th.

Sienna Harris, Staff Writer

As California’s restrictions related to COVID-19 continue to lighten, the gradual return of some on campus sports have been permitted, with stricter guidelines, in order to prevent the spread of the virus. Beginning on September 21st, a handful of fall sports have been granted the permission necessary to do so. According to the William S. Hart School District website, new protocols have been implemented and these same guidelines have been recommended by the LA County Department of Public Health. Clearly, with these grants come new and modified ways of practice, but these boundaries are essential for students and staff to remain healthy. 

Some of the new requirements for these athletes include smaller gatherings, the usage of face coverings, and remaining six feet apart from other students. Aside from these new rules, contact sports have been limited to lessened use of equipment and some teams are even only eligible to participate in conditioning exercises. Ari Schneider, a sophomore on the boy’s soccer team at Castaic High mentions that checklists ensuring the athletes do not have any symptoms of the virus are to be turned in at the start of each practice. He also includes that their soccer practices are amongst the sports that are ineligible to use school equipment and instead, he states the players are limited to bringing their own gear or to “participating in socially distanced conditioning.” The boy’s volleyball team is also struggling, yet still following the new recommendations. Player Zander Grable declares that “it is very hard to breathe while running with your mask on” and that it’s quite difficult to practice outside because they have to “deal with the heat.”

Likewise to the boy’s soccer team, Micayla Darland, a sophomore on the dance team, similarly informs The Daily Howl on how practices have been altered. According to Darland, the team at first began the year practicing their routines on Zoom, but have now been granted permission to hold outdoor practices. She also mentions how the new guidelines make it complicated to “work on formation changes in [the team’s] dances”. The team as a whole also claims that dancing outdoors is difficult to do in the heat and on grass. Nonetheless, they would rather be together “as a team than online having to deal with the frequent lags of Zoom.” 

Finally, a sophomore on the tennis team, Jaden Austria, shares what team building is like with current guidelines. She personally believes that bonding with her new team isn’t too difficult despite restrictions and limited practice times of “two hours on Wednesdays and Saturdays.” Emma Dayrit, another player, still finds that “tennis is fun, the coach is cool/ awesome” and that the team is making the best of a constricting situation. 

Overall, our athletes here at Castaic High are immensely enthusiastic about their return to campus, regardless of the setbacks the pandemic has brought. The athletes interviewed also claim they feel comfortable and safe practicing in person because of these restrictions that have made rehearsing more complex, yet safer. Right now on the bumpy road of this nation’s recovery from the virus, safety is key.