Soccer vs. Pandemic: The Way Athletes Have Been Playing Soccer through Coronavirus

Cameron Fisk

Once Coronovirus struck the nation, everything was forced to shut down. With this being said, that meant no more sports, businesses were closed, and people had to find a new way of living. However, this pandemic specifically affected and impacted the lives of many soccer athletes around the world.

 Many athletes that had plans to go overseas for brighter opportunities, were now unable to because that simply was no longer an option. Players that we’re dedicating time and playing harder, trying to get an athletic scholarship for college now have to overcome even more obstacles to get into their top college. However, younger athletes have begun to see professional players starting to play the sports they have always loved once again and the younger generation of athletes can’t wait to play just as they are. 

One of the main concerns certainly from both parents, student-athletes, and coaches, is how are players going to be able to safely practice and play games while trying to protect themselves from the continuously spreading virus? Joshua Ramos, a sophomore at Salesian High School, currently is playing both club and high school soccer. 

“During practice we have a routine of keeping our masks on, staying 6 feet apart, and everyday temperature checks,” Ramos said.

Ramos’s goal is to attend a top college of his choice with a full-ride scholarship but now has given up hope due to the new circumstances he and the world are having to face. 

“While we practice, our coaches have us in pods with around 8-10 players each with 3 coaches but we are still not allowed to have contact games yet.” Ramos said

Although competing in games and attending practices are a big concern for many at the moment, there are other valid and understanding worries such as how athletes are doing physically and mentally. Mailyn Hernandez, ____ and former captain of the Girls’ Soccer Team Da Vinci, has mentioned she feels as if she lost her connection and physical fitness she once had from the game of soccer. 

“Because of COVID, I felt I lost my skills and became out of shape,” Hernadez said.  

Ever since sports, both club, and school, were forced to shut down last March, the only practices Hernandez has attended were for her club teams. 

“Once I was able to play again, I felt like I was back to normal and made sure to workout every day to keep my conditioning up,” Hernandez stated.

 Even though many knew what other sports teams and clubs were doing to ensure the safety of athletes during practices, what is going to happen within high school sports in order to ensure the same amount of safety?

In the Da Vinci Athletics Update and Informational meeting held via Zoom on February 25, 2021, Vincente Bravo, Chief Administrative Officer, and Assistant Superintendent, and other staff members of Da Vinci discussed the upcoming changes coming to Da Vinci Sports. 

“Pre-workout health screenings will be required before each practice and each game, we will be doing that through a new program called Facilitron,” Bravo said. 

Some of the main points Bravo addressed were that players will be required to wear a mask at all times, that the school is currently looking into a new league to play games in, and virtual conditioning is currently occurring with the UCLA EXOS program for student-athletes. 

Some of the sports are planned to start up in the current spring season including Boys and Girls Soccer specifically. Spring sports were scheduled to have begun on February 21, and the season has been planned to last from March 17 to June 5.  

The safety of these athletes is the main priority when it comes to sports resuming at the high school level. The communication between schools will hopefully resolve the concerns of each player’s well-being. Student-athletes that are looking to try out for sports at Da Vinci will have to wait until the CDC releases the guidelines for such programs and events and trial dates are posted.