“We have all our players right now, I hope it stays that way”

Positive COVID-19 cases negatively impact BVH sports teams


Provided by BVH's girl's water polo team

BVH’s girls’ water polo team comes together to strategize for a tournament game on Jan. 22. The team brought up JV players to replace three of their starters who were out due to Covid-19.

Since the commencement of winter sports at Bonita Vista High (BVH), the number of COVID-19 positive cases reached a peak, which resulted in the absences of student-athletes. The outcome of the absences affects winter sports teams through game cancellations, rescheduling, team quarantining and the substitution of players.

Currently, for wrestling Head Coach Joe Marcotte, there is only one student-athlete out due to COVID-19. Though, during Winter Break, there were 11 student-athletes who tested positive for the virus. As a result, the whole wrestling team had to quarantine for two weeks and was unable to hold practices or compete in matches. 

“We [wrestling team] were forced to quarantine for two weeks, so that’s probably the harshest penalty of any sports team here [at BVH] has had,” Marcotte said. 

Varsity girls’ soccer Head coach Kiko Medina mentioned that there have only been a “few [student-athletes] out since break ended,” due to COVID-19. Medina also described that absent players negatively affect their team’s performance as a whole, since having fewer players means having fewer substitutes. 

 “Luckily we [girls’ soccer] don’t have any [athletes] out currently [due to COVID-19],’’ Medina said.

In addition, quite a few practices were canceled over the Winter Break because BVH’s varsity girls’ soccer team had to wait for COVID-19 test results from some of the athletes who retested. Only after the results came back were they able to practice. If they practiced before confirming all the results were negative, they could have had a positive case and further spread it to other players. As of now, they’ve only had to reschedule one game, which was on Jan. 24.

Similar to the varsity girls’ soccer team, the varsity girls’ water polo, also experienced negative implications as a result of team player absences as BVH aquatics Head Coach Betty Alexander explained that “[Absent players] hurt our momentum in the season. Playing with the same girls in every game helps improve communication and ability to succeed in our goals.”

Additionally, both the varsity and junior varsity (JV) teams have had a total of about six or seven athletes absent due to COVID-19 according to Alexander. There were also a few close contacts, but for the time being, they do not have anyone who is absent that tested positive for COVID-19.

“We have all our players right now, I hope it stays that way,” Alexander said.

Furthermore, Marcotte became accustomed to players on his team testing positive. He recognized that sports teams within BVH are not the only ones affected by the increasing number of COVID-19 positive cases. Classrooms and other extracurricular activities see the same trend of students testing positive and staying home.

“We’re [wrestling team] used to it [being told a player tests positive for COVID-19] now. There are so many people at this school [BVH] who don’t get tested that have it [or] are asymptomatic [and they] pass it on and transfer it. You just expect that with it [virus] being so easily transmitted right now, all the kids are going to get it.”

The easy transmissibility of COVID-19 signifies that players who come in close contact with their teammates who test positive also have to get COVID-19 tested. This results in them not being able to practice since they have to wait for their results to come back.

“They [wrestling team] were all out together, so they all kinda suffered the same consequence. It wasn’t just those kids that tested positive, it was the whole team that had to stop,” Marcotte said. 

It wasn’t just those kids that tested positive, it was the whole team that had to stop.”

— wrestling Head Coach Joe Marcotte

Although varsity girls’ water polo has only rescheduled one game this season, they had a tournament where three of their starters were out due to COVID-19. Consequently, three of their JV members were asked to step up, and one of them was JV girls’ water polo Goalie and sophomore Bridget Cawley. 

“I definitely think that student [athletes] being absent changes the dynamic of the way we play during games,” Cawley said.

At the beginning of the varsity tournament, Cawley felt ‘intimidated’ as there was a bit of an adjustment that she and her two teammates, sophomore Mia Andrade and junior Christina Sandoval had to make. For Cawley, she was playing as goalie for the entire tournament. Prior to the tournament, JV and varsity occasionally practiced together. However, Cawley, Andrade and Sandoval never had played a game with varsity before. 

“When I heard the news [about playing for varsity] it was definitely a bit scary. But once I did play games with the [varsity] girls, I felt I had a lot of support and I felt comfortable playing with them,” Cawley said. 

Whether it be rescheduling a game, substituting players or quarantining for two weeks, all winter sports teams are affected by absent student-athletes due to COVID-19. Moving forward, BVH sports teams aim to finish the rest of their season with healthy and COVID-free players. 

“[I plan to finish the season] with the current and healthy players that we have,” Medina said.