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Holding out hope
• CHS, CV athletes practice on their own in case spring season resumes
Amare Padilla
Ceres High boys track and field member Amare Padilla, pictured competing at the Sierra Inviational in March, has been trying to stay in shape since the spring sports season was postponed on March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Padilla and other student-athletes in the Stanislaus District are holding out hope action resumes this school year. - photo by Photo courtesy of Anthony Gerads

The spring sports season came to a screeching halt on March 16 because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Students-athletes from the Stanislaus District—including Ceres High and Central Valley—have been practicing on their own time as they hold out hope action resumes some point this school year.

"There’s nothing we can do besides stay positive and hope we get our season back. It’s up to us to stay in shape and get our work in. Most of us are doing that.”
Vianney Perez

“Our lives changed in a matter of days,” Ceres High senior softball player Vianney Perez said. “It’s kind of crazy to think about. I miss my teammates. There’s nothing we can do besides stay positive and hope we get our season back. It’s up to us to stay in shape and get our work in. Most of us are doing that.”

Accompanied by two younger siblings, Perez works on her craft 45 minutes to an hour a day at Neel Park.

“Both of my brothers play baseball,” she said. “We’ll play catch, work on relays and hit off the tee. The days I don’t go to the park, I’ll go on a jog with my little brother.”

The Lloyd sisters of Central Valley, senior Scarlett and freshman Victoria, have their own indoor softball academy.

“My sister and I do workouts every single morning,” Scarlett said. “Lot of cardio and weight lifting. Then we go to our academy. We start off with some defense. We work on footwork and basic mechanics. Then field some ground balls. After that I pitch, and then we hit last. I’m lucky to have her catch for me. We help each other grow and get better every day.”

Central Valley sophomore baseball pitcher/slugger Gabrial Lopez splits time practicing by himself and with Hawk freshman pitcher/infielder Ryan Estermann.

“We can’t go to facilities and work out as a team,” Lopez said. “I have a net in my backyard. I put a ball on a tee and hit it. I invite Ryan over and we go play catch at Don Pedro Park to keep our arms loose and in shape. We also use bands. We’ve been doing that every single day.”

Central Valley senior girls swimmer Aryanna Jimenez doesn’t have access to a swimming pool so her workouts consist of doing a variety of other things inside her garage and around town.

“I do a lot of core workouts—sit-ups, crunches and v-ups,” she said. “I lift weights. I also go on 3-mile runs to keep my endurance up.”

Ceres High junior boys track and field member Amare Padilla has a similar training regimen.

“I’ve been trying to stay active,” Padilla said. “I run around Smyrna Park every morning. He (coach Brett Johnson) sends out workout plans. The most recent thing was squats, push-ups, sit-ups, burpees, lunges and planks.”

Ceres High junior boys golfer Visa Homsombath works on perfecting his swing, eye-hand coordination and balance every day.

“I have a net and fake turf in my backyard,” Homsombath said. “I usually work on my swing two to three times a day between 30 minutes to an hour. I use different clubs. I’ve had this setup for five years.”

The spring sports season was postponed this past month until further notice to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 respiratory illness.

“They took the right steps in how to deal with it,” Padilla said. “They’re doing what’s best for the students, staff and whole community.”

“Even though it hasn’t been confirmed, there’s a possibility we might not come back,” Jimenez said. “It’s heartbreaking. I started the season off really strong. I was working towards qualifying for sections (for the first time). Your senior year is the year you do your best.”

The CIF’s 10 Section commissioners and state office will meet via teleconference on April 3 to decide whether or not to resume all athletic activities.