With COVID-19, vaccines, political drama, and trying to get back to a sense of normalcy, school feels heavy, boring, and too much at times. All of us just want to go back to a “normal” life. For the past few months, athletes have been getting hit, arguably, the hardest as there seems to be no chance that they will have anything close to a season. Fall sports were scheduled to begin their season in the upcoming months. But, like the rest of the world, our school’s sports programs have figured out a way around these troubles, and are doing the best they can to have a chance of getting their seasons back. It turns out that they are much closer than some people may think.
Obviously, sports that are mainly outdoors are easier to practice and adapt to this “new normal” which is filled with less strict guidelines than those played indoors. However, as it turns out, many of the fall sports are looking very strong right now as far as practices go, such as golf and tennis. Both sports are relatively individual, practice-wise, as not many players need to share equipment and can maintain social distancing. It is also a plus that both golf and tennis can practice on golf courses and tennis courts with little problems, due to their outdoor location and wide areas, This does not mean that not all sports are practicing at this time, almost every High School sport is practicing right now, it is just that it is harder for those general sports to follow the guidelines due to their circumstances.
As of right now, with the COVID-19 number continuing to increase, there will most likely not be a season for any public high school in Santa Barbara county. This is a big deal as many of the senior student-athletes are relying on their sports to have a season in order for them to get a full paid tuition with an athletic scholarship, and colleges are mainly scouting during high schooler’s senior year. With no season, there is little chance that a lot of these players will have a chance at getting a scholarship. Nevertheless, there is still hope that a vaccine, with numerous in the making, can be given to those in need, and it will be safe for student-athletes to have a senior season, which is the hope of almost every senior athlete as this is their last season at the high school before they leave for college.
Practicing six feet apart, not being able to share equipment, and not having any sort of competitions with other high schools can be a pain for all athletes, but if we continue to wear our masks, avoid large gatherings, and the COVID-19 cases decrease by a large amount, our county can go back to a “normal,” one where we can return to school, have sports, and get our lives back. Until then, all high school sports programs will be stuck training in the way that we are now, and nobody will end up having a season, which not a single person wants.