Student athletes at Waipahu High School finally were able to start practices back in March. But with COVID-19, they’re making sure to take many precautions to keep the coaches and the student-athletes safe.
Waipahu High School Baseball Coach Ian Ferris says, “I’m super excited that we’ve been cleared to practice and play games again. I was really hoping we would be able to, especially for this year’s seniors’ sake since they pretty much lost their entire junior season and a trip to Arizona we had planned for a tournament and college visits. But I am really just excited to work with all of our program’s players again, from the freshmen on up.”
Their main priority is to keep students safe. They really try to stress the importance of wearing masks, social distancing, and hygiene.
“We have instructed our players to complete a wellness check Google Form prior to coming to practice and we ask them again when they arrive. We provide soap and water for our players to wash their hands as often as they can, hand sanitizer, and Ms. Nii, our Athletic Director, purchased a sanitation gun that we spray all our equipment down with multiple times throughout our workouts,” Ferris says.
Restrictions on athletics presented challenges for all student-athletes, especially those planning to pursue athletics in the future. Senior Kainalu Russell, who plans to walk on to the baseball team at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, says, “It was hard for me taking videos to send out to coaches and also for scouts to come and watch because one of the restrictions is that we can’t have any spectators.”
Nonetheless, team members are adapting to the new norms of practices and games. Russell says, “Returning to baseball practice during this time was pretty rough in the beginning because we had to stay six feet apart. We had three pods that we had to stick with and it was hard to get to know everyone else in the other pods.”
“My experience has been good, lots of hard work. We are really getting to know each other and having fun,” freshman Kamden Takanobu says.