Approaching the Modified Sports Season with Hope


Updated 2020-2021 sports Schedule, courtesy of West High Athletics

Seemani Dash, Editor-in-Chief

brand-new year in unforeseen circumstances call for some drastic changes to fall conditioning. Updated CIF schedules (linked below) show us how beloved games are pushed to later in this year However, our athletes love representing the Pack at their meets, tournaments, games and performances, so here’s how some of our favorite sports have recently adapted to the new guidelines and dates: 

 Water Polo:  

With remote learning and no access to a pool, the spiking virus numbers have led to Coach Cassidy Waters encouraging her athletes to remain fit on their own, at least until they can conduct practices again. CIF guidelines are still in the process of adapting, so the “contact” aspect of water polo may see some radical changes to ensure athletes’ safety alongside reducing the number of swimmers in the pool. Once the season begins, however, Waters says, “I think many kids are going to play with a lot more heart… they‘ll be more motivated than ever.” Many swimmers miss the camaraderie of working as a team and swimming in warmer months. Water polo postponed to winter leaves room for less fun and no dead period between the water polo and spring swim seasons for athletes to recover. Regardless, Waters has high hopes for her swimmers. “I know my kids are dying to get back in the pool, and I can’t wait to see what they are going to accomplish this season.” 


The cheer team’s still got spirit! Virtual practices, workout routines and YouTube videos are the new norm for our cheerleaders to stay in shape from home. Coach Megan Anastasio mentions how it’s tough missing one another and potentially not being able to stunt due to too much contact. Once sports start again, she anticipates having her cheerleaders perform at half time and cheer on the side lines since they can maintain distance there. Having a season would be the best-case scenario for everyone, and the coaches and the girls all hope to feel like a cheer family in person once again, planning to take the safety precautions needed to make it work.  

 Cross Country:  

With cross country being an individual performance sport with a team that feels like family, they have been able to start conditioning with strict guidelines. The team is currently holding conditioning at 3 p.m. on the track daily with mandatory temperature and five-point checks on each athlete prior to practice. In addition, athletes run six feet apart until guidelines change. This could prove a problem, as coaches have to get close to the individuals to get a thermometer reading.   Runners also have the option of completing workouts posted to their Teams channel, but with the postponement, smoke and lack of physical supporting friends, senior Lily Millar says, “It’s hard to find a lot of motivation since it’s difficult to exercise without your teammates.”  Some positives are that cross country will start in the winter, meaning less chances of accidental heatstroke, and Coach Theresa James remains optimistic for her athletes. “I am glad that we can run still and do something that makes them happy. 

  Girls Tennis:  

Currently, our tennis players have kept up on spread-out Zoom workouts and discussed playing techniques as the courts have yet to open for practices. The most significant changes to Girls Tennis will be sharing seven courts with Boys Tennis, playing in a cooler season and spending more time catching up on techniques and conditioning. Though most girls miss each other with the pandemic, many are okay with the postponed schedule as it is both safer and better weather to play in. As for adjustments to the sport, CIF updates have not covered new rules, but senior Aria Jacinto says, “Tennis is already a socially distant sport, so I don’t see any modification to how we play.” The athletes are ready to be back on the courts soon.  

 Other fall sports teams are currently waiting upon new CIF guidelines on rules, practice lengths and restrictions to start conditioning for the postponed fall season.