Student athletes find alternatives to play sports


As COVID-19 and distance learning continues to prevent students from fully indulging in their high school experience, student-athletes may take one of the biggest tolls being away from school and their teams. Luckily, there are many local parks and community areas where these student-athletes can continue to practice their sport, while still being safe.

Students are already taking the athletic initiative to go to certain community areas. Senior Edvin Rodriguez regularly goes to the Marie Reed Community Center to play soccer, which is only a 5-minute walk from his house.

“I play soccer almost every day after school. It helps clear my mind so by the time I’m back home I’m ready to get my work done,” says Rodriguez. “It helps me stay out of trouble and to cope with my stressful life.”

Samson Gedib, a junior athlete, is quite a sports lover. He has played football, soccer, and basketball in multiple community locations, specifically in the southeast area.

One of these areas includes the Watkins Recreation Center, where he plays basketball at their public courts. 

“School is a struggle, but when you play sports it just motivates you to be great,” says Gedib. “I feel like my work ethic increases because I’m able to detach myself from the academic strain temporarily.”

According to a book on the connection between exercise and brain activity published by Dr. John J. Ratey, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, exercise actually makes it easier for students to retain information because of the sudden increases in motivation and alertness by stimulating new nerves from stem cells in the hippocampus. 

Getting outside to stimulate your brain cells is safer than staying indoors. 

Current health experts are very concerned about people commuting and completing daily activities without masks and are very upset people are doing the bare minimum to stop the spread. However, sports can be played with masks, and there are always areas where you can isolate yourself from people. 

“It’s also helpful how there’s more than one court, so we don’t really play with people we don’t know,” says Gedib.

When students manage their time well enough to practice a sport, there can be noticeable changes in the way they feel about their academic life. 

Community centers, fields, and courts are open around the city for high school athletes and for those who just want to give a sport a try. But most importantly, remember to always social distance and drink water!