Rain, rain we have to play

BVH athletes deal with setbacks as the winter season brings cold and wet weather


William Maywood

The recent downpour of rain and hail leaves the fields of Bonita Vista High which outdoor sports use to practice flooded. These puddles cost many teams valuable practice time that are solely needed at the beginning of the winter sports seeason.

Valerie Torres, Opinion Editor

As the rain falls and the chilly winds flurry through, Bonita Vista High (BVH) athletes face the upcoming winter season. For winter sports, such as girls’ and boys’ soccer and girls water polo, they are just some of the various outside sports that face challenges with weather conditions in San Diego.

Due to the rainy weather, the boys’ and girls’ soccer tryouts had both been postponed. On Nov. 8, it had been posted by the girls’ soccer Instagram that tryouts for both freshman and sophomores were canceled. 

Similar to girls’ soccer, girls’ water polo tryouts experienced the same result of rain and a dark gloomy sky. However, waterpolo’s tryouts on Nov. 7 still prevailed despite the rain, but resulted in a a continuous cycle of rain and the cold weather being an issue with various practices being canceled for both sports. Since tryouts dates, neither sport has had any recurring issues, such as soccer not having wet fields.

“We are fortunate enough to have this stadium now. As far as rain, we have not had a problem with it. We are fortunate to have the facilities we have at Bonita,” Junior varsity (JV)  Head soccer coach Jocelyn Ortega said.

Although the stadium grants some solutions from the rain, practicing on the new turf brought about new obstacles for athletes. Novice girls’ soccer player and freshman Adriana Garcia described some of the setbacks of practicing in the new stadium. This included puddles creating potential injuries for athletes. 

“[Due to seasonal weather], it’s mostly hard to run because it is so cold. The grass is slippery so you slip around and bump into each other a lot. You also get hurt more frequently than it seems you are supposed to be,” Garcia said.

Other complications that sparked from the weather change is the increased sickness for athletes. COVID-19, the cold and the flu are commonly known to be frequent during this time of season. This has affected many athletes who play in the cold weather conditions and their illnesses resulted in many absences during practices. 

To adapt to the conditions, some girls’ soccer players prepared for practices with leggings and sweatshirts. Girls’ water polo teams use warm clothing such as parkas-fleece clothing before and after swimming activities. JV girls’ water polo player and freshman Devonnae Jones described how her coach emphasizes the importance of keeping their athletes warm. The athletes also find what works for them and individually warm themselves up. 

“We started getting used [to the cold] because of how long we are out there [in the pool]. But it is different for everyone,” Jones said.

Water polo helps speed up the process of adapting to the weather with warm-up laps or slight activity in the water. Soccer imposes similar techniques on the field with movement. Warming up during the start and end of practices ensures that athletes have their muscles warmed up and adjusted to the weather. 

“We always start with a dynamic stretch and then they go into a static stretch. We have very limited time to take a break so that way they are not cold in between,” Ortega said.

Girls’ water polo Head Coach Betty Alexander imposes earlier practices and sometimes cancels practices  for the athletes to prevent them from being sick. Conditioning in the pool is implemented as well as allowing them to wear parkas outside the pool. The initial two-hour practices were reduced to an hour, then too a half hour earlier due to the colder winds. Some athletes had also become ill from the weather with colds and the flu.

“Some teammates are missing and it affects us when we need them for drills, but we make it work and adapt to the situations,” Jones said.

During any point of their season, athletes face uncontrollable weather conditions, whether it’s during the summer with hot and humid temperatures or winter’s cold and rainy setbacks. Though weather patterns can affect players, this does not mean it always has a negative impact on all athletes. Athletes can find more positive views during these difficult setbacks and as a result, make practices more fun.

“On tryout day, it was raining a lot but it was honestly really fun. I personally think that the rain adds more entertainment for us during practices,” Jones said.