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Gonzaga athletics standing despite COVID-19

Not many students play for on Gonzagas Field, but it is still precious to all athletes. (GonzagaCHS Sports Twitter)
Not many students play for on Gonzaga’s Field, but it is still precious to all athletes. (GonzagaCHS Sports Twitter)

Social distance and COVID-19 regulations have caused Gonzaga sports to postpone their seasons for the time being. As the pandemic continues, Gonzaga’s athletic programs have made steps to begin practicing and playing again in a hybrid, distanced and safe environment. Gonzaga has been put in a tricky situation, trying to maintain its integrity whilst also not falling behind on their athletics as other teams surge ahead. To achieve this, Gonzaga has set standards and steps for our athletes to follow and allows the athletic program to keep on thriving.

To start, Gonzaga has temporarily rented out other facilities like the Holy Redeemer field in Kensington, Maryland for various field sports. The school will continue to use recreational facilities within all students’ reach until teams can finally come back to Eye Street and play on Buchanan Field.

Gonzaga Seniors pose for signing day on the field; this is one of the many events that had a different format because of covid. (Photo from Gonzaga Twitter)

“Even though it’s nowhere near last year, it’s good to be back,” said Declan Dolan, senior and rugby player.

Dolan has proclaimed his happiness on coming back in a playable capacity, but still has other worries regarding the preparedness of the teams.

“It was our first game with only practice,” said Patrick Connolly, senior and a soccer player for Gonzaga’s varsity team. 

Most of Gonzaga’s sports teams have had minimal practice time, which has led to a lack of cohesion and team-building. Freshmen don’t know any upperclassmen teammates, and improved players moving up a team will also be unfamiliar with other players and their strategies. Many are asking if the sports teams can survive these necessary fallbacks.

“It’s all about adapting, and we are very optimistic about having a season, even though it may be limited in the number of games we play” said Dr. Peter Baggetta, rugby coach, teacher and director of the Center for Academic Excellence.

Gonzaga’s coaches communicate with other high school coaches to figure out a plan that allows the teams to compete with each other safely. The seniors’ impacts on Gonzaga sports are diminishing, but they provide leadership and role-modeling roles for younger players coming into the Gonzaga athletic programs amid the pandemic. As seniors set the standards for younger athletes, Gonzaga set the standards for virtual and hybrid learning for the DMV and now does the same with athletics in the WCAC.

The goal of this grand plan is to return to normalcy. Unfortunately, it will take a long time before the athletic programs return to the state they were pre-covid, but while our student-athletes have been quarantining at home, they have also been training, and Gonzaga College High School will try to come out of this ordeal with a stronger, more dedicated and cohesive athletic program. 

“I am happy we have been able to get some games for our winter and fall seasons over the past few months.  I am also excited to see our spring teams get back into action in late April. This is great for the kids, the coaches, and the Gonzaga community,” said Joe Reyda, the director of Gonzaga athletics. “ I really can’t wait to host a game here on Eye Street. It’s been over a year since our last official game at Gonzaga. It’s not going to be what we were used to in the past, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.”

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