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July 6, 2020
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Sports update: Covid-19 leads us to unforeseen times

By: Paul Matli
March 20, 2020

COVID-19 hysteria is in full force. From schools being cancelled, grocery stores adjusting hours, to people taking toilet paper off of delivery trucks, the unknown of what happens next is what makes this virus so difficult to predict. The United States hasn’t been locked down like Italy or Asia, yet, but that doesn’t mean people’s daily lives haven’t been disrupted and history hasn’t been made.

What type of history is this? It’s simple really.

Sports all around the United States have been cancelled. This is something that never happened before. Not during September 11, earthquakes, blizzards, downpours, none of those caused sports to completely shut down like the Coronavirus has. No sport is putting most of America into a daze; people don’t have any idea how to live their lives. Not only is this affecting sports junkies’ daily lives, it’s also affecting the lives of athletes everywhere. 

With the NCAA cancelling sports, most seniors won’t have the opportunity to finish their career, the NBA season is in limbo, NFL is in limbo and even here in Sonoma County sports have been cancelled.

For Rancho Cotate, Technology High School and Credo High School athletes, not having any school or sports will make life difficult for them. Teenagers need to be active, either through sports, studying or simply hanging out with friends. With the COVID-19 fears, it’s unclear how these athletes, especially the seniors will cope.

One thing not talked about in all this hysteria is how much this affects athletes trying to get into college, both on academic scholarships and athletic scholarships. If this situation continues for months, graduation might be in doubt, students wouldn’t be able to visit colleges and participate in standardized testing.

Regarding sports, most athletes won’t be able to build a resume of tape for college coaches. Softball players trying to play in college might not have enough tape to show coaches, Credo baseball won’t be able to defend their Division 6 Championship and community members won’t have storylines and teams to follow during the last part of the school year.

Though this is an unfortunate situation for everyone involved, it’s better for everyone to precede with caution, even if there’s been only one confirmed case in Sonoma County. As we’ve seen, the virus spreads quickly and can affect young athletes in a blink of an eye.

Besides the athletes and fans struggling to cope, sports journalists are also in a state of limbo. Without sports, it’s difficult for them to make a living considering there are no games to report on. Sports being cancelled doesn’t just affect athletes; it effects the community. 

Rohnert Park is such a small tight knit community and sports is something that brings people together. Rancho, Credo and Tech not having sports makes it difficult for community members to get away 

from all the stress of work and watch their sons, daughters, friends and family play.

The final group affected are the coaches. Coaches are included because often times high school athletics is about developing their teams. There are several teams in Rohnert Park who are in the midst of rebuilding. The only way a rebuilding year works is if the players get the opportunity to play and with sports being cancelled it’s difficult for a team like Rancho Cotate Girls Lacrosse to get better.

No one knows what the next steps will be regarding COVID-19 considering the virus crisis is changing every day and the decision makers are changing their minds every day. Right now, it seems like a developing situation which will hopefully be resolved soon so the seniors will have an opportunity to play out their careers. If not, these athletes will have stories to tell 20 years in the future about how their season was cancelled. Something we might never see again.