Athletics have been officially suspended by the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) until further notice. This suspension is attributed to the COVID-19 (corona virus) pandemic, in which large gatherings have been outlawed by the California state government. In order to report on the players’ reactions, THE PAPER virtually interviewed students and documented their comments.
Updates for each respective sport is listed below.
COVID-19 has struck again, and it did not bode well for sports fans or the players. Under the guidance of the State of California, the district has postponed the season indefinitely. So, sadly for the Dolphins, the countless hours of work in the offseason to win a League Championship was likely in vain.
This sad reality was a heartbreaking blow to the seniors on the team. Senior Ethan Ezor spoke to this disappointment, saying, “To think I might not play another baseball game for Dana Hills is hard to bear. This year’s team has put so much work into preparing for this season and to have it postponed and possibly canceled is extremely hard for us. All we can do is continue to stay positive and work in case we come back and get to play the end of the season. The seniors on this team have given so much heart and hard work these past four years and it’s unfortunate to have our season stripped from us like this.”
Senior Trevor Gartlan also expressed his agitation at this decision by the district, saying that it “ended my career on a bad note, ruined my senior year and baseball career in general.” “It’s very unfortunate to have our season postponed because of COVID-19 knowing that our team worked very hard to prepare”
Four-year varsity member Dante Jackson said, “Hopefully games will be resumed soon.”
The anger and disappointment of the baseball team is palpable, but over the past three years, they have proven they are one of the best groups to ever come through Dana Hills. If this is all she wrote for the dolphins, they have nothing to hang their head on.
Featuring a myriad of Division I recruits, the volleyball team was enthusiastic for the coming season. The boys were exceptionally passionate, as this season was dedicated to Coach Oz, who passed away in the fall.
Before the suspension of athletics, senior Nick Rigo commented, “I think we will be able to finish at least in the top two league this year. We have a lot of talent with nine seniors on the team, and we have great chemistry. We want to be able to carry on the legacy of Coach Oz who passed away last year, so we have been working hard in the gym everyday to get better and improve our game. I have high expectations for us this year, and I know that the team will be able to go far in season and in CIF.”
However, due to COVID-19, the team’s efforts have been halted. Senior Martin Chanev remarked, “This year was special, as it was dedicated to our coach Oz who passed away last year. Also, all of us who worked really hard to be where we were this year are bummed.”
Due to the spread of the coronavirus, the boys tennis season has been suspended. Players on the team shared their thoughts regarding the season’s abrupt ending.
Senior JT Mezzasalma demonstrated frustration when commenting on the issue. “I think it’s outrageous. Now I don’t get to finish my last year of tennis and perhaps not receive my letter. It’s like the last 3.5 years went to waste.”
Senior Dana Bush expressed bittersweet emotions. “Well, I’m happy we get 3 weeks off but it sucks that the season was suspended. I was already sad that this was my last year of tennis and first year with coach Dana. The last couple years of tennis weren’t the best with our last coaches cause they didn’t have their mind in the game and coach Dana was the coach to change that. Unfortunately, we only got to play a couple non-league matches before our season was suspended. Our last match was a really good match though so it was good to end it on that note for the time being. We were also to get in a trip to USC to ball boy/ball girl for some pro matches which was also an amazing experience. We met some awesome people up there. In the end, I’m really bummed about the suspension but understand it’s necessary to keep our people safe.”
Though it just started, the swim season is already coming to a close due to the pandemic of COVID-19. Students are definitely upset, but trying their best to stay positive and push through the disappointment. Four-year letterman Nick Saedi stated, “I am pretty disappointed especially considering the fact that I was hoping to finish my high school season strong”.
Rather than choosing to give up and let this obstacle stop the team, head coach Carry Pierce wrote, “Yesterday was one of the hardest days of my coaching career…after having to tell my team this might be one of our last practices for the foreseeable future, all we wanted to do was take a walk down to the beach and have a fun afternoon together. So much love for this team! This is definitely a major setback for my team, but as always, we will accept the things we cannot change, adapt, and overcome!”
Looking forward, the team hopes to come back strong and be all together once again.
Both the Girls and Boys Lacrosse teams are saddened by the abrupt pause to their seasons. The teams started similarly strong this year, making it even more difficult to possibly say goodbye. However, the two groups remain hopeful about resuming play upon returning to school.
The boys team is especially disappointed, as they are predominantly comprised of senior athletes. Most have been playing since freshman year and did not expect their last season to end as it may have. Senior D’Mitri Meyer explained, “The boys and I are really devastated by the pause on lacrosse, especially the seniors. We are hopeful to finish out the league portion of the season later in the year. Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the virus.” Also a senior, Alex Kupfer-Weinstein agrees that the “last season [being] put on hold all of a sudden is probably the last thing we would have thought to happen. However in the end, these are circumstances we cannot control.”
The girls hold likewise hopes for a return to the field. The team captains, seniors Maddie Breckinridge and Kaeli Wedel, have been working to keep the girls connected during this time. Wedel states that they have “been keeping each other’s spirits up by sending each other lacrosse Tik Toks and constantly making jokes.”
Breckinridge confirms that “both teams are super bummed about this season being postponed if not cancelled. Hopefully, this will all blow over and school will return back to normal.”
A return to practice is impatiently anticipated, but in the meantime the teams are glad to stay healthy with their families.
While the softball season has gone hit and miss with a string of losses counteracted by a winning game, it is unclear as to how the season will go from here. However, due to recent events of COVID-19, all softball games have been cancelled until further notice.
Because of this, the most recent games scheduled for Thursday, Mar. 12 against Yorba Linda as well as the game against Santa Margarita scheduled for Tuesday, Mar. 10 have both been cancelled.
However, Dana was able to play the previous game against Mission Viejo on Saturday, Mar. 7, resulting in a score of 4-0.
Although this loss came at a difficult point in the season, Dana did not let this affect them. Senior and captain, Jackie Stilwell stated, “We started the season off struggling, but recently, we have come together and started playing for each other. We are super excited to start league and compete to our best ability, and hopefully bring home a league championship just like last year. We have been working on pushing ourselves, staying positive and having fun the rest of the season.”
With this type of hard work, positive attitude and resilient dedication, there is far more to come from this team. No matter what difficulties they face whether it be the cancelation of games or the difficult season thus far, this team will keep working hard to do their very best no matter the circumstances.
Track and Field
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, all sports, including girls and boys track and field, have been cancelled for the remainder of the semester.
Before the cancellation, however, the Dolphins competed against the Trabuco Hills Mustangs on Wednesday, Mar. 11. The girls team lost 67-69, but the boys team won with a score of 83-53.
Opening the meet, freshman Allura Markow and senior Marisa Gaitan placed first and second and scored eight points for the girls in the 1600 meter race. Markow also placed first in the 3200 meter race, outrunning her opponents by seven seconds. Sophomore Sienna Frederikson won the 400-meter race with a time of 59.14 seconds, and senior Leah Boskovich and sophomore Ashley Arsenault placed first and second in the 100 meter race with respective times of 13.23 and 13.32 seconds.
In the boys 1600-meter race, senior Carrick Denker, junior Gianni Viola, and sophomore Jai Dawson placed first, second, and third, respectively, securing nine points in total. Senior Chase Walter won the 100-meter dash in a time of 11.37 seconds. Denker, Dawson, and senior John O’Melveny filled the top three spots in the 800-meter race, and juniors Brandon Pizano, Viola, and Ryan Broadhead finished first, second, and third in the 3200-meter race. Junior Caleo Martinez competed in long jump and won, jumping 5.93 meters, and senior Will Riviere won with a jump of 1.82 meters in high jump. Junior Jonathan Sweeney won the pole vault event with a height of 4.11 meters.
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