A plea to bring back sports


Alejandro Barron

Cosumnes River College has shut down sports for the past year due to the pandemic and athletes are eager to return.

While scrolling through Twitter, I came across a high school teammate’s tweet showing his media day picture for a Division I baseball program in Louisiana with a caption saying they’re seven days away from opening day.
Although it’s a different state and a Division I program that has more funding to keep players safer than those at a junior college level, it doesn’t change the fact that while they’re on the field, I’ll be sitting at home awaiting a decision whether we are going to play this year or not.
Weekly Zoom calls and potential return dates that never come to fruition cannot compare to daily practice from the beginning of the school year that many schools across the country have been able to have.
A global pandemic is a perfect reason to put sports on pause, but I know that athletes all over the world are willing to do anything to get back on the field.
Since last March, I feel like we’ve been able to go nowhere. What seemed like a temporary lockdown turned out to be almost one-year of quarantine filled with ups and downs.
Not being able to go anywhere during the summer meant a whole three months dedicated to working out and practicing to be ready by the beginning of the school year.
Our first workout together as a team was stalled from the beginning of the school year to an October start time, then November, January, February and as of right now, starting back up in March.
The athletic department at CRC has already put in place a process as to how student-athletes will return to the first phase of practice, which is strictly conditioning.
As soon as Sacramento County goes back into the red tier, the protocol set in place by the athletic department indicates athletes will return to campus two weeks from the day we enter the red tier.
The district is doing as much as possible in order to allow us to return to campus and play our season safely, but if the situation in the county doesn’t get better, student-athletes in Sacramento county will be forced to move on from their sport and just be an ordinary student.
So many student-athletes are faced with the tough decision of wanting to chase their athletic dreams, or, due to this pandemic with our seasons potentially canceled, move on with our lives.
Thinking of a cancellation for this season would probably end up having me walk away from the game that I’ve put so much time and effort into, just for a virus to come along and take everything away.
I could walk away from baseball but live with that “what if” for the rest of my life. This is why I beg people to not only stay socially distanced and wear a mask in order to allow student-athletes to play, but also so we can officially say goodbye to COVID-19 and live our lives normally again.
Thinking about how so many schools and their sports program in this country will be starting their season soon, makes me think that we can do the same. We can follow these examples that professional sports and the NCAA are setting in order to return to play in a safe manner.
Not only this, but high school athletes who’s seasons are carrying on are also setting a good example on how to play on despite COVID-19 being around, according to a study conducted by the University of Wisconsin.
According to the study, 207 schools were surveyed which represented over 30,000 student-athletes that hosted over 4,000 games and 16,000 practices. Out of the over 30,000 student-athletes, 271 cases were reported with high school student-athletes while Wisconsin 14 to 17-year-olds reported 2,318 cases.
Although there’s still risks of going forward with this season, it’s worth the risk for us.
Obviously easier said than done, but I’m willing to get tested for COVID-19 every day, enter a bubble, be completely isolated from people and so much more in order to finally play an official baseball game for the first time in over a year.