Springing into Sports this Spring


Senior Marvin Linares has been playing soccer in his free time at Red Morton Park in Redwood City. Photo courtesy of Marvin Linares.

Many sports have been put on hold until the rate of Covid-19 drops further. California has lifted restrictions on outdoor sports at schools, allowing football, lacrosse, and soccer for counties where the rate of positive Covid-19 cases is lower than 14 per 100,000 population. San Mateo County and 27 other counties have met this guideline.

Eastside’s sports are trying to progress with the upcoming seasons but are carefully following protocols from San Mateo County.

“Our league is planning to have a season, shorter than usual, starting in mid-April,” said girls soccer coach Juan Grau. “All the schools are getting ready for that start date.”

Juan explained, however, that there is still a lot of uncertainty. The start of an in-person season depends on being in the “yellow zone” in terms of the rate of infections in the community, but the idea is that this region may be able to get there.  To prepare for that, Eastside has a lot of planning to do.  

“We do have more issues to deal with than other schools in our league have,” Juan said. “We have space constraints for practices if we were to practice in the afternoons, because we would have to share the field with the boys. Practicing in the mornings, which is our usual, would be very difficult unless the players were at school already.”

Principal Chris Bischof is evaluating whether “the challenges are too big to try to overcome and therefore would make sense to cancel the season,” Juan said. “If we move forward, then we have to see if we can get enough players interested in doing the things you would have to do to play and have a team.”

Other outdoor sports might be able to start this spring, too, but there are high chances the structure will be different from usual. 

“I’m starting to put feelers out for Track now and hope athletes will arrive fit for our first formal practice day on March 15,” said Track and Field Coach Simon Cassidy. “ Our first competition looks to be on March 29. As you might expect, exactly what the season will look like is still up in the air.”

Meanwhile,  indoor sports, including volleyball and basketball, are not expected to return this school year. 

¨Unfortunately, we don’t have any certainty that there will be a boys basketball and volleyball season this spring,” Chris said. “These two sports will be the last to be allowed by the state. We’re still hopeful, but we’ll have to wait and see.¨ 

Many Eastside athletes have been upset about sports being taken away this year. A majority of varsity boy soccer team players have an unsettled feeling about their season being pushed back. On the bright side, a couple of Eastside Panther athletes have decided to stay in shape and join an earlier sport: Cross Country.

“So far, all we were told to do is to stay fit,” senior Marvin Linares, who has played as center back defender on Eastside’s team for the past three years.“I typically run for 30 minutes. People who don’t run either do pushups or at-home workouts.” 

The main focus for all athletes right now is to stay in shape for the possibility of an upcoming season. To do so, they can try other sports activities at school, such as Cross Country, Strength & Conditioning and yoga.