Wilson Yearbook Staff
The resurgence of COVID-19 has affected every industry, sports no less. Before the district’s winter break, Wilson’s fall sports seasons finally felt normal. Students, teachers, parents, and alumni alike were out cheering on Wilson on the field, on the track, at the pool, and on the beach. With the winter season at an end, the spring sports are preparing for a new season and any guidelines that may interfere with their sport.
As of January 31, 2022, The Long Beach Unified School District released a new statement regarding indoor sporting events, “Indoor venues can reach full capacity, but for events exceeding more than 500 people, proof of vaccination is required.” And “After March 11, masks will be strongly recommended but not required indoors at school,” the LBUSD said in a statement. Although this may not affect all sports, those that are affected, are taking a slight hit. Here is what the winter sports are closing on and what spring sports have been up to.
Bruinettes – Ms. Guest
Bruinettes is a core foundation of Wilson’s school spirit. Since the surge of COVID-19, the Bruinettes have been limited to attending winter sports. “Not attending events is a missed opportunity for us. On a symbolic level, this generation has missed so much because of the pandemic,” said Ms. Guest, head Bruinettes coach.
Before the winter season, the spirit team was allowed to cheer on fall sports, such as football. “We spend hours, days, weeks, months, preparing a show to present on the football field,” said Guest. The liveliness brought the student section to life during a drought of sports due to the pandemic.
The Bruinette’s dedication to Wilson has been recognized for numerous years and appreciated by many. “Those of us who are Bruinettes, we love being Bruinettes,” said Guest.
Spring Gymnastics – Mr. Heng
Gymnastics has had a large decrease in restrictions since 2020, now they are fully equipped with all their required equipment to practice gymnastics whereas in 2020 they were unable to practice with their large equipment due to cross-contamination.
Coach Thourn Heng, girls gymnastics head coach and teacher at Wilson described practices like this, girls take a warm-up lap around the track and enter the gymnastics room for a 20-minute stretching session, followed by the team being split into four different groups, one at each skill, training, floor, vault, and bar. The groups spend 10 minutes per event and rotate with a drink of water in between.
With team morale fluctuating Mr. Heng is hopeful for this season, “We’re going to hope for the best and the number one thing we work on is not building skills but building team morale,” said Heng.
Spring Baseball – Coach Hall
With the Spring season on the horizon, Wilson’s baseball team has been keeping steady and is ready to compete when spring comes.
“Players enjoy being at the field for practice and games. After being in shutdown for so long last year, every day is a gift to be out there,” said Andrew Hall, varsity baseball coach.
Practices are quite normal this time of year, Coach Hall mentioned. The team warms up, goes through team defense, and spends the last hour practicing offense. The athletes who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are out for personal reasons are not assigned any at-home practices, they are expected to work on their own degrees.
Spring Boys Tennis – Coach Medina
Wilson Boy’s tennis has been preparing for their upcoming season keeping steady with conditioning, tennis drills, and match play. With team morale higher than last year, the boys are ready and willing to compete this year and add another Moore League title to the books.
Practices have been more productive since the peak of the COVID-19 season, players can share multiple tennis balls and play without masks at a safe distance, as compared to 2020 when players were only allowed to practice two versus two games and each pair had its own cart of balls that were used within the groups.
The aches that came along with restrictions and online learning were not only physical, “Online learning was devastating for students’ social lives, and students’ & teachers’ mental health. Luckily, tennis was still able to meet during that time, but I think we learned that distance learning was not an effective solution to the problem.” said Boys Tennis Varsity, Coach Medina.
Spring Girls Waterpolo – Coach Twinem
While other sports are gearing up for their close contact, girl’s swim is at ease. With being a sport played in a pool of chlorinated water, the U.S. Center for Disease Control has stated that chlorination temporarily “inactivates” coronavirus.
Girls arrive to practice masked up but once they enter the water, masks off. The team is allowed two girls per lane during practice, compared to the one girl per lane restriction of 2020, this is a big step forward in attempts of reaching a normal season. If Wilson were to go back to online learning, the restriction would be similar to last year, where girls would play games at Cabrillo High School, due to their outdoor facility.
Due to the rise of COVID-19, many student-athletes have not tried out for their sport, for fear of close contact or cross-contamination, this leaves Wilson to ask if there will be an increase in student-athletes once COVID-19 has a steep downfall. Coach Twinem believes otherwise, “Not necessarily, I don’t believe there will be an increase or decrease. If someone wants to swim they will come and try out,”
Spring Boys Lacrosse – Coach Sal
Boys Lacrosse participates in jam-packed practices, starting with running, stretching and conditioning drills then the team splits into offense and defense to help improve individual responsibilities on the field. The team often plays in scrimmages for extra practice and go over film, rewatching games to study and improve on previous plays.
Wilson Boys Head Varsity Lacrosse Coach Sal Cipolla is in his third year of coaching Boys Lacrosse for Wilson, all three seasons taking place during COVID-19. Despite the issues COVID-19 has caused, Cipolla stated, “We had 43 boys try out for the team this year. The most in Wilson Lacrosse history.”
The first Moore League game for Boys Lacrosse will be held at home on Tuesday, March 22, 2022, against Poly High School. Best of luck to this year’s Boys Lacrosse, go Bruins!
Spring Boys Volleyball – Coach Ceballos
Boys Volleyball is returning from a strong 2021 season, where the Bruins went undefeated in the Moore League season and won the CIF Championship. Players are excited to get together for yet another season and work on and off the court. New Head Varsity Coach Chris Ceballos admits that the CIF Championship win has boosted morale, and players are now even more motivated to carry on the legacy.
Coach Ceballos is hopeful for a wide turnout of fans this year, “I think everyone is willing to make sacrifices right now to be present. I think subconsciously everyone is appreciating the ability to play and attend athletic competitions for their kids even more now.” said Coach Ceballos.
With a total of ten Moore League Championships and the most recent CIF Championship, Coach Ceballos and the rest of the boy’s team are looking forward to putting in a quality product on the court day in and day out. Boys Volleyball’s first Moore League game took place on March 1, 2022, against Poly High School the match ended in a promising 3-1 win for the Bruins. With a great start to the season, Wilson is proud and excited to see what the boy’s team will achieve this year.
Spring Softball – Coach Molina
The Softball Moore League season started on March 3, against Jordan High School which ended in a 25-4 win for the Bruins. Practices have been the same as usual, the Bruins arrive at their outdoor field masked up, once in physical activity athletes are allowed to take their masks off, on their preference. Every time athletes share balls, players grab a squirt of hand sanitizer for good measure.
“I’m looking forward to building the chemistry of our team…I think that(COVID-19)has really made every player appreciate every game we’re able to play,” said Leah Pettway, Varsity Captain. Wilson is excited to see how the Bruins rise from the effects of COVID-19, go Bruins!
Spring Badminton – Coach Marquez
Badminton participates in late-night practices consisting of warm-ups like laps around the small gym, lots of conditioning, footwork, and working on individual sets of skills. Head Coach Adrian Marquez admits there were not many athletes attending when sports were finally allowed to play again. Now that sports are back, players are eager to get back to the court and represent Wilson High School.
Winter Boys Soccer – Coach CJ Brewer
The Wilson Varsity Boys soccer team brought home their 11th Moore League Championship for the 2022 season. The season was halfway through the season when the new mandate had come up. It never affected the team because soccer takes place outdoors, and the players wore their masks. The early LBUSD mandate stated max of 25% capacity for indoor sports which did not affect soccer. Even so, Wilson’s soccer stadium could hold thousands of people, and soccer does not tend to have a large fan outcome compared to football games.
A day of practice is quite simple, the players keep their masks on close to each other, so they can be ready to put them up when they need to. There have been moments where other schools had to reschedule or cancel games because some of their players tested positive for COVID-19, and both schools ended up missing out on practice games. ”Anyone who has a form of mild sickness has been instructed by the coaches to not come to practice and test or to just take days off.” Varsity Head, Coach Cj Brewer stated when asked what happens when anyone has any symptoms.
Winter Girls Soccer – Coach Brian
The Varsity Girls Soccer team never had many problems this season with COVID-19. A day of practice is pretty simple, “Things are pretty normal at practice. We took a week off of activities. We are outdoors and we do our best when we have group tactical discussions to keep our distance.” Head Varsity, Coach Brian said. When athletes are absent due to symptoms or personal reasons, the players are provided with simple homework, like running or stretching to stay fit and ready for their return. Unfortunately, during the season the team did have to reschedule a game.
Dance – Coach Jusionis
The Wilson’s dance Department is still recovering from an amazing performance on February 5. The Winter Dance was originally scheduled for January 15th but because of COVID-19, the Dance Department decided to postpone it. COVID-19 has affected the dance team tremendously, right after winter break, Dance Coach Michelle Jusionis had about 70% of the dancers absent because of COVID-19. When asked why they decided to postpone, Coach Jusionis said, “We were rehearsing for our Winter Dance Concert last week and lots of the students had caught Covid over break.”
A normal day of dance class, “From the class time of 1:20 p.m. through 4:00 p.m. depending on the day. Most Advanced dancers are here Monday through Friday with this schedule. We wear our masks indoors at all times but it is hard to breathe when dancing. It gets pretty difficult when dancing and breathing hard while having a mask on.” The dancers are given the choice to be in the show. Normally this would be part of their final grade because it is their assessment. Due to COVID-19, dancers are allowed to choose what’s best for them and their families with no penalty for their grades.
Girls Basketball – Coach Dj Vincent
The girl’s basketball team won Moore League and CIF the year COVID-19 broke out. “Practice was very sanitary as we had to wear masks throughout the entire practice unless we were at a water break.” Coach Dj Vincent said when COVID-19 had started and students were on zoom.
Online school was difficult for the girls because “Less people would come to practice because they probably wouldn’t feel a need to do anything besides stay at home.” said Sydney Ross. The girl’s basketball team normally has a big crowd at their game so when the 25% capacity was announced they were very bummed and it was hard to not see the bleachers full. But with the new guidelines, fans are now allowed to view games at full capacity.
Wilson Loudspeaker was unable to get ahold of Boy’s Swimming, Boy’s Golf, Girl’s Lacrosse, Surf, and Wrestling