How are CHS upperclassman athletes adjusting to quarantine?

The pandemic spread of COVID-19 has disrupted all aspects of school and life in some way. While academic work from school continues online, other parts of school are harder to replicate in quarantine. All sports run through the school have come to a halt, leaving the decision to continue training or take a break up to the motivation of individual student athletes.

For many students who pour their time and heart into athletics, the early end of their sport’s season has come as a major disappointment. This disappointment is amplified for junior and senior athletes, some of whom may never play their sport competitively again. For others however, quarantine has been an annoyance, but not a major disruption to either their athletic plans or training. In fact, many claim that this isolation has given them more time to focus on athletics and to self discipline, now that school is not draining their energy and sucking up all of their time.

Some senior athletes who will continue their athletics in college are using the quarantine as an opportunity to prepare for their next season, or at least stay in competitive shape. One such senior is Mae Key-Ketter, who is committed to the University of Redlands and will be competing on their cross-country and track teams. She says that her decision has not been seriously affected by the virus, echoing a sentiment felt by many seniors across all extracurriculars.

“To be completely honest, I didn’t mind losing my last high school sports season. I was ready to move on, but I will always miss my running squad from cross-country and track,” Key-Ketter said.

Moving on to college sports means staying in shape, which for Key-Ketter has been relatively easy.

“I have been running every day in order to stay in shape and incorporating full-body workouts to strengthen all my muscle groups,” Key-Ketter said. “I try to do different body workouts every day so that I don’t lose motivation or become bored of doing the same thing every day or week.”

This strategy has also been employed by a junior on the track team, Michael Judson, who also feels that online school has created more time for exercise. Not all athletes have remained as motivated as Key-Ketter and Judson however, which creates an interesting problem for coaches. According to NCAA rules, coaches cannot start workouts with incoming freshmen until May 1. Because of this, Key-Ketter says that many coaches will not assign a workout schedule until that date for the sake of convenience and team unity. To stay motivated and keep team bonds alive, many athletes have started participating in the #stayathome challenge. In this social media challenge, athletes post videos of themselves working out or practicing their sport. This has allowed students to maintain some sense of community with fellow athletes which would otherwise be absent during quarantine.

The end of at-school sports has come as a relief to some and a devastating loss to others. Some seniors may never compete in the sport they poured four years of high school into again, while others ramp up their personal training in preparation for college level competition. As much as this virus has disrupted the normal sports session and team bonding enjoyed by athletes, live streaming and challenges like #stayathome allow athletes to stay connected and keep their community strong.