Student athletes rejoice as they return to practices and games

Emily Flores and Antonio Bedon



After a bitter first semester, cleats and sports bags echo through the Birmingham Community Charter High School (BCCHS) parking lot as sports teams resume practices and games.

“I’m excited to get back into high school sports,” junior softball player Nadia Montiel said. “Especially since I didn’t get a season last year.” 

After sports were canceled in the fall due to COVID-19, teams began practicing in late February. However, Daniel Pearl Magnet High School athletes weren’t allowed to return to practice with BCCHS until March 8. Some teams, including the BCCHS boys water polo team, have already started having games against other schools. The team had their first game on March 10 against 

“Personally, I feel like it was important that sports started back up again for me because of how much water polo means to me,” varsity water polo player Ryan Nevsky said. 

There were a few hoops to go through in order to get DPMHS student athletes back to practice. In order for this to occur, Sports Director James Morrison filed his own appeal so that DPMHS students could play in games with BCCHS, which is outside of the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

“I think it is great that sports are starting and the athletes have the opportunity to play again,” Morrison said.

There are some guidelines that athletes have to follow when attending practices and games. First, everyone must wear a mask at all times except when physically active and secondly, all athletes who are playing in games must get a COVID-19 test prior to each game. BCCHS also mentioned that they will no longer have pregame or post-game opponent handshakes.

To make things easier, BCCHS has allocated resources for on-campus COVID-19 testing. Although these aren’t what typical practices and games look like,  athletes and coaches were still ecstatic to get back into what was once their “normal.”

“I’m excited about the season starting up,” baseball coach Matthew Mowry said. “I think it can be done safely, and the kids need this.”

All practices have to occur outdoors. Indoor sports like volleyball have been practicing outside. Although each team gets to return to playing games, they will not have a full season and football will not be having playoffs or a championship game. 

“Unfortunately, we will not have a full season nor playoffs. Coach Rose and our athletic director are working with LAUSD officials to try and put together a game schedule,” JV football coach Dario Avila said. 

Some teams are still awaiting their return to practice. Sophomore lacrosse player Giselle Khalil hasn’t heard anything from her coach about returning to practice but she’s patiently waiting for that phone call.

“My practices and conditioning haven’t started but it’s definitely something that I’m looking forward to,” Khalil said.

For senior athletes, like water polo player Amelia Sanchez, returning to sports offers a fitting conclusion to their time playing sports.

“I am happy that sports came back even with a bunch of restrictions,” Sanchez said. “It’s nice to have some hope again.”

Although some athletes are concerned about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they are glad they get the opportunity to play sports in the final months of the school year.

“I don’t entirely feel it to be the safest time to be getting back to sports but I am extremely thankful that we at least get to play this year,” volleyball player Naamah Silcott said. 


Entertainment Editor Sara Marquez, Digital Media Editor Valery Barrera and Sports/Tech Editor Casey Wanatick contributed to this report.