Pleasanton Preps: Some highschool sports activities lastly kick off their season | Information
It was nice to see photos of East Bay Athletic League athletes competing against each other last weekend – on site!
Cross-country skiing, golf, tennis and swimming have all practiced, with some already participating in competitions.
It was getting old to see social media posts from athletes across the state who came from California to compete in tournaments with their club teams.
For now, the EBAL teams are starting to compete again!
“It was great,” said Amador Valley cross-country coach Jason Oswalt. “It was exactly what you thought when the kids got to run again.”
One benefit of officially started sports is that these sports have offered athletes the opportunity to exercise when their respective sports were suspended.
Golf courses have been open for some time and the elite players travel regularly to tournaments.
The same goes for tennis players. In terms of cross-country, it was always okay to go for a run with most of your top runners already completing a training program.
“Some of our children trained, some less,” said Oswalt with a laugh.
The Dons have around 40 runners this season, compared to the normal number of around 70.
“It was a quick turnaround for kids to get into their physical shape,” Oswalt said, citing one thing that affected program numbers. “There were probably others who didn’t come out because of everything that happened.”
As excited as Oswalt was to talk about getting the kids back outside, he was also anxious to make sure it was known how everyone was following the protocols.
“We’re trying to make it public that we’re doing this and it’s working,” said Oswalt.
Last Saturday the Dons hosted Monte Vista. The race was held on a new track in Amador because permission to use the Shadow Cliffs regional recreation area – the Dons’ usual home track – could not be obtained.
The two teams entered the starting area on the soccer field through separate gates with masks, with each team two meters apart.
“We even had an extra order letting the runners know they could take their masks off,” Oswalt said. “But they had to take them with them and put them back on after they crossed the finish line.”
The slide in which the teams started made it possible to separate the teams for the first 300 meters. By the time the teams have made it that far, the runners are so excited that they can safely mix.
The rest of the schedule for the entire EBAL cross-country plan is in the works, as it is not yet clear whether there will be a league meeting. If not, expect two to four team meetings before the season ends on March 20th.
Most importantly – the kids are out there competing.
“It was great that the kids got on their shirts and competed against each other,” added Oswalt.
That day Monte Vista won the boys’ race 20-39, but Amador Senior Euan Houston drove the 2-mile race with a time of 10:11, which of course was a course record by default.
The Mustangs also took the girls’ race 18-44. Amador’s top runner was Taya Small, who completed the course in 12:32 and finished fourth.
Wooldridge to Louisiana-Lafayette
Former Foothill quarterback Ben Wooldridge, who spent two seasons in Fresno state before hitting the transfer portal last year, has landed in a new home at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.
As I wrote earlier in this section, Wooldridge decided to move out of Fresno state after losing in a competition for quarterback with former Monte Vista QB Jake Haener.
It was a competition that many gave Wooldridge the edge, adding to the frustration.
Now it’s on to the Ragin ‘Cajuns and the Sun Belt Conference.
Editor’s Note: Dennis Miller is a contributing sports writer for Pleasanton Weekly. To contact him about his Pleasanton Preps column, send an email [email protected]