Sports Starting Up Amidst COVID-19


During Livermore High School’s 2020-2021 school year, there has been a noticeable lack of sports. As COVID-19 cases begin to decline in Alameda County, sports with less contact are practicing and competing. Athletes have observed some different protocols to stay safe.


The LHS cross country team recently participated in two meets, at Granada and Dublin High School. 


Alice Prusso (10), a member of the team, said, “It was refreshing, but at the same time nerve-wracking because we’d been practicing for so long, never having a meet, and we finally had one.”


Prusso also said, “We just kept our distance, we do temperature checks before practice, and we wear masks. Sometimes we had to reduce the number of practices per week, we’d just run on our own.”


Before meets, Prusso said it’s a lot of mental preparation and taking care of your body, like staying hydrated, eating good food, and keeping a good mindset.


LHS’s swim team is also beginning to practice once more. Students are expected to wear masks outside of the water and distance their belongings from one another.


One swimmer, Jaymie Helm (11), said, “There can only be three people in a lane, and one person on each end of the pool, then one person in the middle.”


As of right now, meets for swim are expected to be virtual, with athletes recording times at practices and comparing with other schools. However, some schools are creating guidelines for in-person meets.


According to Bobby Hamm (12), each school will have a side of the deck and certain lanes to use. One lane in the middle will be empty to provide a buffer between swimmers from opposing teams.


Like other sports, the swim season will be shorter than in other years. 


Hamm said, “It’s really fun, it’s good to be able to get back in the pool. It’s my senior year so it’s my last chance to have a swim season, so I’m going to take what I can get. It kind of sucks that it’s not a full swim season, but what are you going to do?”


Softball players have returned to play as well. Practices began with a heavier focus on conditioning but have started easing into more playing.


Emily Silva (12) said, “We are usually almost always 6 feet apart, it’s really easy in softball because you don’t really have to stand near each other to do anything. When we’re doing running or conditioning we always have the same partner, so we don’t really mix. And then all the balls are always sanitized.”


As with many sports this year, the softball season is much shorter than usual, with an estimated end at the beginning of May. Scrimmages are expected to start around the middle of March.


Due to COVID protocols, there are some experiences that might not be the same for athletes this year, and other things players might miss out on entirely.


Silva said, “Our Stampede got canceled this year, and this was my first year I was going to be able to participate in it.”


Stampede is a tournament hosted by the LHS softball team to fundraise money for their program.


Samantha Smith (10) said, “It’s really nice to be back. I enjoy softball, it’s something I’ve been doing since I was seven years old, so it’s kind of a safe space. We could always be safer, but sports are really hard to do during COVID.”


Silva also said, “It feels so good [to be back], like I don’t normally get out and do much other than softball, and just having something to do during quarantine is nice to look forward to.”


The future of sports in the midst of a pandemic is an uncertain one, but these athletes will continue to make do and work hard to make the short season worth it.