In comparison with previous years, tennis matches have been reduced and moved up to earlier times, so athletes have to miss more of their school classes. Players stick to the sides of the court and make sure to use only their own tennis balls, keeping masks on at all times. With the sports season accelerated, athletes no longer have time to plan for many team bonding events, such as the classic Secret Sister event, in which players give food and gifts to another player anonymously before every match. Naturally, eating together is no longer allowed as well, whereas before, the tennis team often had parties and ate at restaurants together.
Soccer has only recently begun to have practices and conditioning, with the first games scheduled for mid to late March. No close range activities, such as scrimmaging, are allowed, so much of the practice the athletes do is not as engaging as before. As a season two sport, soccer has a bit of an overlap with the season one sports, so many multi-sport athletes have lost the chance to play both sports and must choose, lowering the overall number of athletes.
This year, due to the limited number of athletes, the district has only chosen to heat a few of the pools, so two schools share one pool. As the swim team shares the pool with Cupertino High School’s team, half of the team practices at 6:15 a.m., while the other half practices in the afternoon. Meets are virtual, so the competing schools record times separately then compare them online. Swimmers must wear masks on deck and stick to opposite ends of the lanes in the pool if there is more than one swimmer per lane.
During this season, Griffin has worked extensively with all the coaches to coordinate the start of the season, solving issues like who uses the different fields and turf when. At the beginning of the swim season, the athletic department could not find a coach, so Griffin trained the athletes herself until a replacement could be found. However, she believes all the effort is worth it since players now get a chance to play the sport they love.
Sharlene Chen, Malcolm Slaney