Teams continue to practice on campus

Athletics at Diamond Bar High School continue to prepare for an uncertain season of sports as spikes in COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles county increase.

Since the first week of November, athletes have had conditioning workouts and drills on campus in preparation for the upcoming competition season. According to DBHS Athletic Director Albert Lim, all practices follow Los Angeles County guidelines, which have remained unchanged since the beginning of COVID-19. Head football coach Jeff Reitz elaborated on how these guidelines apply to football practice.

“The LA county has allowed us to have pods of 12 athletes and one coach for pretty much every sport,”  Reitz said. “We split up the field and alternate positions, one pod may be on the bleachers doing stairs while another one does drills on the field.”

Baseball coach Jon Hurst said  that he feels the program has been going very well and believes that as long as people follow the safety guidelines, everything will stay on track. 

“Those that have chosen to return understand the importance of staying safe and flattening the  curve,” Hurst said. “We have identified what activities are more safe than others and what protocols need to be in place to ensure safety.”

However, this new program is far from perfect. According to Reitz, even with pod training, athletes aren’t learning in optimal conditions—all equipment and many of their usual close-contact activities are off-limits. He also stated that as head coach, he should be able to work with all of his students, but is unable to because of county restrictions.

In addition, he expressed concern that the students who don’t attend practice will be less prepared for competitions than other students. Despite this, he said that he doesn’t want to pressure them to attend in-person practice.

“I expected there to be challenges from the beginning, from experience, it’s inevitable when we create and implement something new,” Lim said. “I am grateful to be working with wonderful colleagues and our school leadership team to put this plan into action.”

Lim stated that with spikes in COVID-19 cases, there is concern among parents about sending their students to practice. Reitz shared a similar sentiment, explaining that he didn’t want any of his athletes feeling obligated to attend on-campus practice.

“When one of my students says their parents have concerns and don’t want them coming, it upsets me, but I’m not mad at the parents or the students,” Reitz said. “They’re honestly afraid and if that’s what they want then I’ll back them up.”