A Year of HHS Sports

Sebby Leffew

JUN. 7, 2021

This school year was dramatically changed due to the pandemic and one of its biggest effects was on sports. Sports this year were completely different and a lot of our students had things to say about their personal seasons.

This school year was dramatically changed due to the pandemic and one of its biggest effects was on sports. Sports this year were completely different and a lot of our students had things to say about their personal seasons.

One of Healdsburg Highschool’s biggest stars, Jack Vanden Heavel of the track team, talked to me about his season and how it played out. First of all, Covid-19 affected different seasons in different ways and for the track team there were some downsides. This is what he had to say when I asked him how the pandemic affected his season. “I haven't got to travel to a lot of the bigger meets. I have been able to go to a few. Covid-19 has definitely limited the competition. It left us with fewer races and fewer weeks.” This did not change Jack’s goals though as he expected a lot out of himself. “My goal was to compete. And I got to go to a bunch of races and compete and just have a blast. And one of my big goals was to stay healthy as I haven't in previous years and I accomplished that goal. And time wise my goal was to break 4.18 in the mile and break 1.56 in the 800. And just to have fun.” These were his goals for this year and boy did he compete to attain these goals. Some of his biggest accomplishments for this season is that he signed to run collegiately at Westmont College which is an NAIA school down in Santa Barbara. Jack chose this school over the many other schools that gave him offers like Baylor and other schools because he really likes the coach and program and he loves the environment of Santa Barbara. “My biggest accomplishments were that I broke the school record for running in the 1600, 800, and 3200 which is the mile, half mile and the two mile. And yeah I was ranked 10th in the state of California for long distance track running. It was a huge accomplishment to be ranked 10th in the state but you know, number one in your heart.” It was a great season for Jack to wrap up his high school track and field career.

One of the sports that the pandemic affected the most was basketball. Senior Chase Sommer of the basketball team explained his senior season and how the boys basketball team. “You know. We as a basketball program like to get started in the summer with summer basketball and team week. We carry this into fall ball and then go into our winter season full strength and knowing our offense and stuff. This year we were unable to do that and instead we started our season out of the blue. This happened to every school so it isn't a clear disadvantage to us but it impacted us as a brotherhood as we did not have the bond like we would have. In addition to the shortened season, we were given no postseason.” This was Chase’s response when asked about how th Covid-19 pandemic affected this season. Originally because of the pandemic the basketball team was told that there was pretty much no chance that there would be a season. At this time back in February the rules stated that for a season the county would have to be in the yellow tier. Rules changed though and the shortened regulated season was announced. Chase said he was filled with “immense joy” when he first heard the news. Even with this changed season the basketball team stayed with their same goals. “Our goal every year is to win every single game we play in. This year we came up short of that goal by two games'', said Chase. The boys basketball team had a good run and they played a great season going 14-2. They had a tough schedule but they did not back down and they took the challenge. Congratulations to those boys and a special thank you to the two seniors on that team, Dylan Hayman and Chase Sommer.

Another one of Healdsburg’s biggest stars is girls soccer player Viola Santana. Viola is a stellar player and she not only holds herself but she holds her team to a high standard of play. Their season was affected as everyone else's was but Viola said the worst part of it was the masks during practice’s and the lack of motivation from her peers on the field. This is what Viola had to say about her goals for this season. “My goals in the beginning were to beat my record of goals that I scored in last year's season. I also wanted to earn the honorable position of team captain and to be a leader on my team. I also wanted to connect more with my teammates. And just have a fun and exciting season that everyone enjoyed. Another goal of mine as a club soccer player was to stay healthy as I go into the summer planning on traveling nationwide to tournaments and showcases with my travel team.” Viola told me she did earn the honorable position of being team captain but fell short to some of her goals due to injury. Early in the season Viola had an on the field accident that caused her to miss more than half of the season. She came back better than ever after her injury and scored 5 goals in a win against Elsie Allen and then a double hat trick or 6 goals in a win against Piner. There were many downsides to this season due to the pandemic and also due to injury. But, overall this was a very fun season and a great learning experience for Viola and the girls soccer team.

These athletes were all successful in their own ways throughout this season that was changed in so many ways. On behalf of the student body we would like to thank all of our athletes, wish our seniors good luck and goodbye, and for everyone else to be ready for next year's sports seasons.