“I miss that field a lot.”
Justin Locke sighed as he stared at the Bonita Vista High School football field he hasn’t been on in nearly a year.
The senior football and lacrosse player plugged away at home while carrying a 4.25 GPA, but he can’t wait to hit something other than the books.
“It’s going to feel pretty great,” he smiled. “I haven’t been able to do it in a while.”
His wait will end within the next two weeks as football returns.
“Especially for the seniors. It’s really important for them to finish out their last year in high school with a bang,” said Locke.
“To be able to see the kids compete and to see the coaches do what they love to do and coach the kids up, to me is what makes it all worth it,” said Bonita Vista High School Athletic Director Tyler Arciaga.
The State of California announced it will loosen restrictions regarding youth sports last week.
However, a judge ruled no one can stop San Diego County sports teams from practicing and playing as long as they follow similar COVID-19 safety protocols as college and professional teams. That includes weekly COVID-19 testing.
“My mom’s kind of concerned but my dad says go out and play,” laughed Locke.
“This is a weird situation,” said Arciaga. “I’ve had some football coaches that said, ‘You know what? This isn’t for me this year.’ And I get it.”
However, Arciaga also understands the desire to play, to be with teammates, and to get some part of life back. California is one of the last states to allow youth sports to return.
“I get to be out there with all my friends,” said Locke. “We get to have a good time for our senior year.”
Arciaga said the CIF will allow football teams to practice as early as this Friday. However, some districts like Bonita Vista’s will likely wait a few more days.