Varsity softball swings through the offseason

Though+COVID-19+has+affected+all+aspects+of+Carlmont+sports+training%2C+the+varsity+softball+team+has+persevered+in+their+fall+training+season.+

Rachel McCrea

Though COVID-19 has affected all aspects of Carlmont sports training, the varsity softball team has persevered in their fall training season.

Though health and safety regulations continue to dictate the operation of Carlmont athletics, varsity softball has been able to keep up their fall training. 

Softball is a spring sport at Carlmont, but the team usually begins strength training and conditioning in September, months before the season starts. This year, practices resumed with modifications due to COVID-19.

Like all sports currently training on campus, practices are limited to pods of 15 people to protect the safety of athletes and coaches. Softball has two pods, each practicing twice a week instead of their typical three times. In addition to fewer training sessions than normal offseasons, players cannot touch any equipment or use the weight room. In a sport that relies heavily on strength, this dealt a heavy blow to the team’s training plan. 

“Before [COVID-19] we did strength building; we would lift weights,” said Sofie Hai, a junior. “With outdoor [training], it’s more agility.”

Though trips to the weight room were a crucial part of their offseason in previous years, the team has found other ways to stay in shape, mainly focusing on cardio and agility. 

“We do ladder drills for agility and footwork, and we run some laps,” said Sarissa Block, a junior. “We’ll work on sliding if we get on the football field, and diving.” 

I’m really hoping for a season this year, even if that means not playing as many games. ”

— Sarissa Block

Another change on Carlmont softball this year is the arrival of new varsity coach Steve Rianda. However, the softball community’s tight-knit nature means that many of the players have already worked with him.

“[Rianda] was actually my club team coach for about five years, so it won’t be difficult for me to transition,” said Dana Knoble, a senior. “I know he’s a great coach and all the girls will adjust easily. Most of them do or used to play for him, too.” 

The popularity of local club softball means many players on the Carlmont team have already been playing together for years. This familiarity adds a sense of camaraderie among players and allows the team to gel easily.  

“We’re all old friends,” Block said. “It’s just always been fun playing with each other.” 

Though practices are going strong, spring sports are far from guaranteed. For seniors, knowing that they may not get to play their final year of high school sports is challenging to come to terms with. 

 “It totally sucks being a senior at this time,” Knoble said. “But I know we’re all trying to make the best of it. I really hope we get a season [because] this would be my last real chance to play.”

 

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