Sports Season Put on Halftime


By Maria Akhverdyan and David Ramazyan

This time last year, balls were bouncing, athletes panting, and crowds roaring in the stands. Unfortunately, Hoover encounters this year with untouched balls, unconditioned athletes, and silent stadiums.

CIF has pushed the upcoming seasons to next semester. With the increasing COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County, Hoover’s athletes are unable to resume regular practice, whereas schools in Orange County have already resumed practice in the fall sports, such as volleyball, swimming, cross-country, and football. This delay accompanied by remote learning has pushed athletes and coaches to find an alternative to real-life practices.

“Pep team has been practicing via Zoom all summer and we’re continuing every morning during 0 and 1st period,” Anita Bacon, Director of Pep Team, said.

“Lack of space to practice is a big factor – twirling for flags in the house can lead to breaking things, dancers don’t have enough room to leap or do certain turns, cheerleaders obviously can’t stunt because they can’t be together and I have several on the team that have never stunted.”

Hoover’s athletes are positioned at a disadvantage compared to their competing CIF teams. Sports teams have not resumed in-person practice and face complications during virtual sessions. At risk for injury, not all students have access to the same training space they did in school.

And for athletes who have to play on the field or in the gym, things are even worse. Zoom can’t compensate for an open field/gym and technical corrections.

“Well, not being able to practice makes it difficult to be in sports, and we won’t have the right amount of training so if we go back we might not be in shape, or as motivated,” said Gianni Higginbotham, a freshman football player at Hoover.

Sports like volleyball and basketball, for example, have hardly practiced, since their past seasons.

“I’ll be happy if we’re practicing in December. It will be a miracle,” John VanPatten, the boys’ basketball coach, said.

The team has not resumed practice since the end of their season, similar to the volleyball team.

“The girls haven’t played since October of 2019 and the boys, since March of this year,” Daniel Seranian, the coach of Hoover’s boys’ and girls’ volleyball, said.

With school closing down, many athletes miss out on the opportunity to play on the court; for some, this is their last time to play.

“It’s sad knowing that after three years of playing on varsity and wanting to be able to enjoy my senior year it was all stripped from me,” Tatyana Davidian, a varsity volleyball player at Hoover, said. “What was supposed to be the best year of being a high school athlete was made into a nightmare.”

Indoor practice sessions endanger students to the ever-growing virus, leaving the volleyball team at an abrupt stop with their practice sessions. Seranian would like to resume practice in October, however, he is prioritizing the safety of his athletes first.

Hoover’s sports teams have been abruptly interrupted in the upcoming season. CIF will resume with games next year, but as of now, Hoover athletes remain at home.