Spring sports season affected by COVID-19

Sunny Li

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the 2020 spring season has effectively been shut down. The sports teams affected include badminton, baseball, golf, softball, swimming, track and field and boys volleyball. Students first learned that their spring sports season would be in jeopardy on March 9, when it was announced that all competitions involving more than two schools would be cancelled. Athletes would only have the chance to compete at dual meets within the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League (SCVAL). 

The situation progressed quickly and on March 13, SCVAL announced on the same day that it is suspending all spring sports competitions and games involving its member schools. The California Interscholastic Federation made a press release on March 17 that they would not cancel postseason events for the time being, and the 10 commissioners from each section would meet again on April 3 to discuss further developments. Similarly, the Central Coast Section posted their statement on March 18 that they would continue to monitor the situation and reconvene on April 3 to reevaluate the situation. 

Since then, an update was made on March 25 that the school closure would be extended to May 1. On April 1, Lynbrook administration announced that per Santa Clara County guidelines school closures would be extended to the end of the school year, but athletes would still be able to earn credit. 

Students were disappointed by the decisions made by the district that have cut off their seasons. Many had high expectations for the season ahead, as they had competed in a few games and meets before the cancellations and saw the potential for improvement.

“We had five matches before school had to close and we were doing really well as our team was undefeated through the season,” golf player Anton Ouyang said. “I think our team was just getting started this season and we were only getting better as our team started to gain experience.” 

Seniors were particularly affected by announcements because they would not be able to complete their final season as an athlete at Lynbrook. Many had worked hard for multiple years to have a successful last season, and they were disheartened to find out that they would miss out on a final opportunity to compete with their teammates. 

“We found out that games were cancelled right before practice on Friday,” softball player Rebecca Liu said. “It was so sad, everyone kept saying they felt so bad for the seniors and as a senior it broke my heart. I think at the moment it didn’t really hit me at first, but slowly I started to realize that I’m not going to get that senior softball season I’ve always wanted.”

Many athletes have continued to train at home even though they would not have any more competitions in the near future. Without a clear goal to train towards, they struggled with staying motivated but also saw the need to stay active. 

“When school ended and golf courses started to close, I made my own hitting net with blankets and cardboard to continue to practice,” Ouyang said. “Staying at home is also a good opportunity to start getting stronger so I started to run on the treadmill more and work out.” 

In regards to receiving credit, athletic director Jennifer Griffin sent out an email with a Google form on March 27 to all students on a spring sport roster to gauge their interest in continuing some form of exercise to earn PE or elective credit. On April 1, she sent out another email to athletes notifying them that distance-learning PE Athletics would be conducted through Google Classroom and PLT4M, an athletic training app. In order to earn credit, athletes will need to exercise at least 90 minutes a week and report it in a Weekly Exercise Log using Informed K-12, which was previously used by the school to manage forms and paperwork electronically. Links will be posted in the PE Team Athletics Google Classroom. 

With adaptations made by Lynbrook athletics, students can continue to earn credit while practicing and improving on their own. Although the cancellations saddened the athletes involved in the spring sports season, they were made in the interest of public health. Social distancing continues to be important to limit the spread of the pandemic.