Woodside High School Swim Team Competes Virtually


Gabriel Perez

Woodside High School’s swim team stays hard at work in preparation for their upcoming meet.

Cebelli Pfeifer, Staff Writer

As a result of COVID-19 cases rising and falling every day, athletes who play a sport in the Sequoia Union High School District wonder if they are going to have a season at all.

Considering COVID-19’s unpredictability, prioritizing the athletes’, coaches’, and staff’s health is the goal. The guidelines for athletes include wearing a mask at all times (except when in the pool), staying as socially distanced as possible, and having no parents watching from the stands.

Woodside High School swim team coach Stephanie Couch added, “It is an abbreviated season of eight weeks. Meets will all be virtual, meaning no other schools will be on campus.” Swimmers are designated to individual lanes in which they compete against other schools, but they will not compete in person. Each swimmer’s time is recorded and compared to other schools in order to determine the winners.

Although this is a difficult time for everyone, parents and students shed light on the positives.

Sean Cryan, a parent of a competitive swimmer at Woodside, stated, “One major positive I see with athletics returning in a somewhat limited fashion is in the area of socialization. From a parent perspective, I feel that the isolation that has been caused as a result of the justified fear over the pandemic is way more damaging than the potential harm that has been caused to learning. Being able to practice and be on a team, to get out of the house, and to focus on play and exercise, can go a long way.”

Swim coach Stephanie Couch keeps her athletes on task and hard at work. (Gabriel Perez)

Many students lack socialization due to COVID-19. Couch added that she tries to let the students socialize to the best of their ability.

“The kids are really happy to swim and happy to see each other,” Couch explained. “I often give them a kick set [drill to enhance and warm up leg strength] that allows them to chat with each other. They are still in their lane, but they love the chance to catch up with their friends.”

Overall, there is a hopeful future ahead, and it is promising to know that athletes will be able to compete. 

Current Woodside swimmer Sadie Cryan concluded, “I’m very surprised that we were going to have a season, and now that we’ve gotten started, I am really happy with it!”