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  • Writer's pictureIsabella Monet Mendoza

An Altered Athletic Community

Updated: Jan 6

Just last year, the 2019-2020 school year, the Ugly Eagles football team of Clayton Valley Charter High School won their first state championship. Everyone was ecstatic. The players were amazed, and their feat even made headlines. The well known San Francisco Chronicle was one of the news anchors that caught hold of the winning team’s glory.

As one can see, Clayton Valley Charter High School made history for itself, not just through a football state championship, but for how much dedication and passion is put into the beloved sports by athletes and coaches at CVCHS. One can see the disappointment that all the student-athletes must be feeling about the alterations made due to an impactful pandemic, courtesy of COVID-19.

Here at CVCHS, the start of the new school year for many, including student-athletes, is filled with uncertainty. Gyms filled with sports equipment remain closed. No sports competitions are in motion. However, occasional team practices are being held, which require everyone to wear a face mask and practice proper social distancing.

This is only a light description of what the athletic community at Clayton Valley Charter High School is experiencing until further notice. Nevertheless, the effects of these changes run much deeper, and many are worried about the possible outcomes. Concerns raised include the student-athletes’ regression in performance and mental health being challenged due to the issued changes.

Despite these worries, students and families at CVCHS realize the necessity of the changes made and are eager to work around them. Sydnie King (pictured at left), a senior at Clayton Valley Charter High School, says, “...the only way to progress in sports during this unprecedented time is to put in the same dedication as you would if you were actively playing. Practice is what makes progress. Spending time putting in work is what’s going to make you better. In my case, for example, that’s going to the driving range to hit golf balls...” Sydnie King is one of many who have embodied this mindset.

An additional response from this high school student reveals another side to the altered athletic community at Clayton Valley Charter High School. She expresses the following: “...with the absence of things like Friday night football games and weekly golf matches, I can’t help but feel sad and disappointed. This year is so different from anything we’ve ever known and it’s normal to feel emotional regarding the ‘new normal.’ At times, I’ve even felt angry about the situation, but at the end of the day, it’s no one’s fault…” Many sympathize with Sydnie King, yet the passion and dedication to the athletics at CVCHS continue to motivate these student-athletes.

This school year, despite the circumstances, students at Clayton Valley Charter High School will continue to enjoy a variety of sports. Whether it is golf or mountain biking, sports give solace to many in the student body. The athletic community at this high school is one where many teenagers retreat to in order to practice their passion and learn the rewards of hard work.

Voices of students, families, and coaches, admit that COVID-19 has robbed the norm of the athletic community at Clayton Valley Charter High School. However, it has not stolen the passion and grit that these student-athletes have harnessed for so long.

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