By Colton Webster
Three teams in City College’s athletics department have decided to resume competition as part of the late spring schedule. Men’s athletic director Dan Hayes said only swim, tennis, and badminton have resumed competition for the spring semester.
Hayes said that some teams at City College decided not to compete because, “a lot of other schools weren’t ready to compete, there were some teams where schools were slow to get approval from their DPH (Department of Public Health).” In addition, the schools did not have the infrastructure to test all of their players.
To return to play, teams had to abide by a tiered phase system that was performed in conjunction with the San Francisco Department of Public Health. The first few phases began with Zoom meetings focusing on providing COVID-19 education to athletes, performing workouts virtually as a team, and working in small pods. Phase three includes competition.
After wrapping up the water polo season on April 14, Rams’ swimmers are still in high spirits, “We’re just excited to be back in the pool,” water polo player and swimmer Melanie Beavan-Szabo said in an interview.
Due to the spacing between lanes, Beavan-Szabo said that the whole team can practice simultaneously, unlike water polo which required the team to practice in different time slots to abide by COVID-19 precautions.
The first scheduled swim meet for the Rams will be competing virtually against the College of Marin over a Zoom video call on April 23. The decision to host the competition remotely is due to travel complications, but future competitions will be in-person, Beavan-Szabo said.
Tennis has played two of their scheduled five scrimmages which span into the middle of May. Head tennis coach Kelly Hickey said that the team is “lucky because [unlike sports such as volleyball] we’re an outdoor sport so we have less limitations and we don’t have full contact … like football, soccer or basketball.”
Rams tennis’ upcoming match against Cañada College is scheduled for April 30 with no in-person attendance permitted. The team has had to cancel their April 23 match against Mission College due to a shortage of players.
Hickey said that spirits are high for the team. “I can tell they’re smiling under their masks, it’s a good feeling, having been away from each other [physically] for 11 months,” adding, “getting to practice our sport has been a huge lift for everybody, including myself.”
In closing Hickey said, “It’s just nice for these athletes to have an opportunity to get back in practice, but then it’s icing on the cake to get them in a match versus another team.”
However, even without games scheduled, teams are still gearing up for the fall season. Basketball is practicing in person five days a week in addition to football resuming full-contact practices.
Baseball has yet to resume in-person practice, however, Hayes reassured that “baseball will be back full blast in the fall.”
Although some teams are unable to compete Hayes focused on the positives, saying that, “our students love being back doing what we do; training, practicing, and getting better,” adding “just being with each other again, being with your teammates again.”