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The Current

Athletes find active outlet through sports conditioning

Some student athletes wait on the sidewalk after practices. Photo by Jamey Slater

In the long wait until school sports resume this winter, eager Bruin athletes and coaches has been conditioning with strict health protocols to ensure the safety of all.

Mia Axelman, a sophomore and a member of the swim team, expressed excitement at having the opportunity to go back to training. 

“It feels great to be back and swimming with my teammates again,” she said. “I missed the sport and getting the chance to train with them everyday. it’s never felt better to be back in the water, working hard and getting better!”

Sophomore Ryder Holcomb agreed, emphasizing the importance of conditioning for student athletes. 

“Our athletes really needed to get back to some form of normalcy and we have found a safe and productive way to do it,” he said.  

With the threat of spreading COVID-19, guidelines and precautions were According to Athletic Director Scott Savoie, this decision to begin conditioning was a collaborative effort between the Nevada Joint Union High School District (NJUHSD) Superintendent, Nevada County Health Department, and NJUHSD Principals and Athletic Directors. 

“The decision was based on student physical, social, and mental health needs and meeting those needs in a safe way for both students and staff,” said Coach Savoie. “Our practice protocols were formed from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Return to play guidelines.” 

Coach Savoie went on to explain what these new protocols entail. 

“Our athletes need to wear masks to and from each practice session and bring their own water,” he said. “We are not using our locker rooms right now and each student and coach is being screened before each practice, (temperature and covid related questionnaire). Our athletes have been arranged into ‘pods’ of no more than 10, which they stay with during every practice.” 

Bruins talked about some other safety precautions their teams are taking.

It feels amazing to be active with these people again,” said Sophomore and football player Anders Torgerson. “We have groups, masks and we keep distance.

“Our team is taking many precautions in order to keep everyone safe,” said Axelman. “When walking in and out we are required to wear masks and stay six feet apart. During practice we swim one per lane and maintain social distancing. Along with this are coaches are also required to wear masks at all times.” 

In addition to the threat of COVID-19, Bruins Athletics are also facing other difficulties, such as poor air quality. However, despite everything the coaches and players have still expressed hope for the future of their sport seasons.

Actually, our practices have been cut short due to poor air quality right now, but [we are] hopeful to get back out there,” said Coach Savoie. “… I can’t wait to get students back on campus and to really get our sports seasons going.”

Holcomb echoed a similar sentiment. 

“Our team is very good, so I’m just really excited for the season to officially start,” he said.  

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Athletes find active outlet through sports conditioning