NPHS soccer returns to balling out

As Ventura County enters the red tier, soccer has begun having games with other schools again. NPHS girls soccer had their first league game of the year against Oaks Christian on March 19, where NPHS lost zero to one. Both girls and boys soccer teams will have weekly games from now on as they have in the past. 

The soccer teams have been working to create a new normal so that students can play while keeping themselves and spectators safe. Natalie Hurd, senior on the girls varsity soccer team, reflected on how different the games and practices have been this past year. “At practices we have to wear a mask at all times and try to maintain our distance from one another. At games we also wear masks while warming up, but we are allowed to take them off while playing but everyone on the sideline and bench must wear masks,” Hurd said. “We are also required to get a negative test the week of games before we are allowed to play and the amount of people on the buses to games is limited.” 

Preparing for the upcoming soccer season was not easy, especially since practices were cut down in comparison to previous years. Jackson Cornett-Coert, senior and captain of boys varsity soccer, explains the old, more rigorous schedule and how the team works now during the pandemic. “We are practicing as much as we can but usually on Mondays and Wednesdays. In past years we would practice every weekday but because there are so many sports using the field, there is not enough field availability for us to practice every night,” Cornett-Coert said.

Even with reduced practice at school, participating in soccer in addition to online school and other activities is nowhere near easy. Chava Orozco, the girls varsity soccer coach, has been coaching for eight years and cares for each of his players’ health and development. “I think this season will be a challenging one. Players are participating in both high school soccer and club soccer and also playing multiple sports at NP. This makes a risk for injury more likely to happen,” Orozco said. “We are doing our best to manage the girl’s workload throughout the week. Our main priority is to keep everyone healthy throughout our season.”

While the season may look different, the seniors are thankful that they will get another chance to ball out on the field. “I would just like to thank the coaching staff for everything they have done for getting us prepared for our games. Most of us were very scared we would not get a final season and I know there are many people we have to thank for that. I would also like to thank my team for stepping up and playing their hearts out,” Cornett-Coert said.