Athletes and coaches prepare to return to practice next week

Sophomore+and+varsity+volleyball+player+Naamah+Silcott+gets+ready+to+return+to+practice+by+strengthening+her+volleyball+skills.

Naamah Silcott

Sophomore and varsity volleyball player Naamah Silcott gets ready to return to practice by strengthening her volleyball skills.

Emily Flores

Schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District will allow student-athletes to begin socially distanced conditioning workouts starting on Nov. 9. 

“I’m very excited to return to practice and see how everyone’s been doing,” sophomore and varsity volleyball player Naamah Silcott said. “At the same time, I’m hoping it is not premature since America did have a spike in cases two or three days ago.” 

Athletes and coaches are very excited that some sports will be back out on the court or the field starting practice/conditioning. It’s challenging for coaches not to teach athletes new skills and practice for the incoming games without any equipment in order to stay safe during this pandemic. Still, they have to follow those guidelines so everyone can be safe and try not to get close to each other like they usually do when they’re practicing. 

“I would feel safe as long as everyone has been tested recently and wearing masks during practices for the most part, which can be difficult,” sophomore and girls basketball player Kennedy Fayton said. “But I think everyone can do it.”

In all sports, coaches and athletes will follow the health requirements and stay at least 6-8 feet apart until the pandemic slows down. That’s when coaches and athletes can get closer together while talking as a team close to each other and not being spread out 6 – 8 ft apart. Birmingham Community Charter High School began practices last month but has not been allowing Daniel Pearl Magnet High School students to participate in conditioning because LAUSD hasn’t allowed its student-athletes to work out on campus until this coming Monday.  BCCHS are respecting the rules of the district. Only conditioning is allowed until the district has made decisions for athletes to start practicing with equipment. For athletes to do a sport, they have to fill out an athletics packet; they are ineligible to play if they don’t fill it out. 

“I feel safe,” Birmingham Community Charter High School JV/Varsity football coach Dario Avila said. “I know our school has a good plan for reopening athletics and I know that our students will take the safety measures seriously because we will have to shut down otherwise. Our coaches and students want to be out here and will do whatever we need to do to keep practicing.” 

All the coaches hope that the requirements don’t change too much where it can affect the athlete’s practices and preparation for games.

“We are allowed to practice on campus but only outdoors and physically distanced and follow all other local health guidelines to have an outdoor practice, which only consists of conditioning without any equipment,” BCCHS volleyball head coach LeAnne Bennett-Riley said. 

Some coaches are disappointed that this fall semester is when some sports are supposed to start and some sports are supposed to be finishing up their season. Football usually begins in August and ends in November, depending on how far they go to win the CIF championship. 

“The thing that changed is we can’t do anything right now outside of that, not sure what will happen during the season,” BCCHS baseball head coach Matt Mowry said. “When we first come back, we will not throw or use baseballs in any way. It will only be conditioning and things where we don’t use the same equipment or get us closer than 6- 8 ft apart.”