header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
51°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
February 25
1936 - U.S. release of Silent Era's last feature, "Modern Times" with Charles Chaplin, partially shot in SCV [story]
Modern Times scene


| Thursday, Feb 4, 2021
Vikings Lacrosse
Valencia High School lacrosse team members work out in their pod during a conditioning workout at the Valencia High School on Wednesday, 020321. Dan Watson/The Signal

 

Depending on who you were and what your interests were in high school, seeing the track or a coach might bring joy or dread. But on Wednesday, as kids returned once again to their after-school conditioning, relief seemed to be the overwhelming emotion.

This week, groups of student-athletes and their coaches returned to campuses across the Santa Clarita Valley. At the Valencia High School campus on Wednesday, student-athletes — from track to baseball to lacrosse — worked out in what the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has described as “pods.”

Groups of five to 10 students, all wearing masks and keeping distance from one another, have finally been given the opportunity to get back out on the field, stretch, and drill, as long as they continue to practice their safe health code practices.

“We just started yesterday, and I’m meeting the kids at the gate, making sure they’re checked in and reminding them of the rules,” said Mike Pontius, the head track coach at Valencia.

Each student who comes onto campus must be able to present their coach with their green-colored, CrisisGo safety pass they had previously gotten on their phone. To get the entry ticket, each student must answer health questions, confirming they don’t have a fever, symptoms, or recent exposure to COVID-19.

“The kids know they have to stay safe, 6 feet apart, and have the mask on when they’re not running,” said Pontius. “Just respect each other.”

At Wednesday’s athletic conditioning meetup, there were approximately 20 of the Vikings’ track and field team members, seen stretching before starting to run their laps and do their conditioning. One could see the kids shouting to each other from behind their masks, far from one another, and each shout seemed to be greeted by a friendly response or laugh.

“We’re going to get back into it slowly but surely,” said Mitchell Albin, a senior at Valencia who runs both the 200-meter and 400-meter. “But it feels kind of relieving to actually go outside and do stuff.

“This is leaning more toward the normal side,” said Albin later, adding, “I just wanted to put some work in and see my friends.”

According to Pontius, all athletic conditioning on campuses is volunteer right now, with some athletes opting to stay home from the practices. They’ll be encouraged by their coaches to complete workouts from home and relay information back to their coaches.

A stone’s throw from the Valencia stadium rests the baseball diamonds. And while they, too, are voluntary practices, Mike Killinger said he would have a hard time keeping a single one of his 60 athletes off the field once the athletic conditioning restarted.

“Truthfully, they’re just happy to be here, they’re happy to be out moving around,” he said Wednesday. “I know a lot of them probably go out and see a few friends or play in weekend games, but you can tell they’re just happy to be back out on the field.”

Killinger said the rules for returning are being followed at Valencia High: warming up your arm can only happen between two players (that ball is then thrown to the side, not to be used again during practice); infielding and pop-up drills are allowed, but again only two kids can throw a ball between one another (that ball is also set aside); and “ghost” baserunning allows the young athletes to keep their muscle memory intact without chucking a ball around to another during that specific drill.

“I ended up getting three different sets of baseballs for the three differents levels, as well,” Killiinger said, adding that practices are also staggered throughout the week as opposed to every day.

And while none of these after-school events are typically considered “practices,” because competition between rival school teams for most forms of competition have not been greenlit, the athletes said they were simply excited to be back on the field, masks, distance and all.

“It’s definitely very different coming out now versus seeing the guys every day like how we went during the school year,” said junior varsity baseball player Zach Andrews. “But it is nice seeing them again because I haven’t seen some of these guys, you know, in months. … It’s just nice to come out and just practice with them again.”

Vikings Baseball Conditioning

Freshman players run the bases during a baseball conditioning workout at the Valencia High School on Wednesday, 020321. Dan Watson/The Signal

Vikings head track coach Mike Ponties

Head track coach Mike Ponties watches the runners during a track team conditioning workout at the Valencia High School football field on Wednesday, 020321. Dan Watson/The Signal

Vikings Sprinters Trey Suffedini and Cienna Cruz

Valencia High School sprinters Trey Suffedini, 16, and Cienna Cruz, 17, stretch during a track team conditioning workout on the Valencia High School football field on Wednesday, 020321. Dan Watson/The Signal

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


WATCH NOW
LOCAL SPORTS HEADLINES
Thursday, Feb 25, 2021
Hannah Cumming is exactly the type of player Master's women's soccer head coach Curtis Lewis appreciates.
Thursday, Feb 25, 2021
Youth and adult sports leagues can resume outdoors in Los Angeles County, after the county’s Department of Public Health announced Wednesday the agency is aligning its protocols with the state’s.
Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021
California State University, Northridge head tennis coach Gary Victor has announced the 2021 Matadors’ women's tennis schedule.
Tuesday, Feb 16, 2021
It was a day of firsts for The Master's University women's soccer team on Monday in a 2-1 victory over William Jessup University in Rocklin.
Monday, Feb 8, 2021
Former College of the Canyons defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul, who played with the Cougars in 2007, is now a two-time Super Bowl Champion after helping the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeat the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs by a 31-9 score on Sunday at Super Bowl LV.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Fry's Electronics, the consumer electronics retailer, announced Wednesday that it is going out of business after nearly 36 years.
Fry’s Electronics Closing All Its Stores
The Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) announced Thursday the upcoming launch of the Los Angeles Online Dispute Resolution (LA-ODR) program, in collaboration with the Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County and its Dispute Resolution Program (DRP), and the Center for Conflict Resolution.
L.A. County Launches Program to Help Litigants Settle Cases Online
A former manager of the Valencia COVID-19 testing lab is being sued by the operator for breaching her contract after she accused the company of poor performance.
PerkinElmer Suing Whistleblower for Breach of Contract
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday 132 new deaths and 2,072 new cases of COVID-19, with 25,990 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: SCV Cases Nearing 26,000; L.A. County Reaches 100 MIS-C Cases in Children
Three hundred sixty-six feature films are eligible for the 2020 Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today.
Academy Announces 366 Feature Films Eligible for 2020 Best Picture Oscar
Hannah Cumming is exactly the type of player Master's women's soccer head coach Curtis Lewis appreciates.
Hannah Cumming Signs with TMU
Santa Clarita City Council members declined Tuesday to administer $6.8 million in state rental assistance funds for eligible residents who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and let the state handle those dollars but approved creating a program for them with $6.3 million from the federal government.
Rental Aid Program Coming to Eligible Santa Clarita Residents Impacted by Pandemic
The Santa Clarita City Council Legislative Committee will hold a special meeting virtually Friday, Feb. 26, at 2:00 p.m. 
Feb. 26: City Council Legislative Committee Virtual Special Meeting
As Los Angelenos envision their future — whether it’s housing, parks or wellness — there is much they can learn from the past.
CSUN Collaborates with Tataviam, Indigenous Communities to Create Virtual, Ecological History Map
Flair Cleaners, Southern California’s leading eco-friendly dry cleaner, is hosting its 6th Annual Flair Cares Food Drive, Hang Up Hunger, through March 31
Annual Flair Cares Food Drive Underway
Youth and adult sports leagues can resume outdoors in Los Angeles County, after the county’s Department of Public Health announced Wednesday the agency is aligning its protocols with the state’s.
L.A. County Allows for Return of Outdoor Youth, Adult Sports
One person was pronounced dead after a fiery traffic collision in Newhall on Wednesday.
Newhall Crash Leaves One Dead
1936 - U.S. release of Silent Era's last feature, "Modern Times" with Charles Chaplin, partially shot in SCV [story]
Modern Times scene
California State University, Northridge head tennis coach Gary Victor has announced the 2021 Matadors’ women's tennis schedule.
Matadors Set 2021 Women’s Tennis Schedule for March-May
Acclaimed guitarist, songwriter, record producer, and Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famer Mike Campbell, formerly a member of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, will be the first to host radio station 88.5-FM's new "Artist in Residence" series Saturday, February 27, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Feb. 27: Ex-Heartbreaker Mike Campbell to Host 88.5 FM’s First ‘Artist in Residence’ Show
In the wake of the Canadian Transport Ministry’s Interim Order extending the closure of Canadian ports and waters to passenger vessels, Santa Clarita-based Princess Cruises has found it necessary to cancel three voyages:
Princess Cancels 3 Cruises as Canadian Ports Remain Closed
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to extend its eviction moratorium through June 30, 2021.
L.A. County Extends Eviction Moratorium through June 30
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s motion to explore ways to protect and support the rights of crime victims was unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday.
Supes Unanimously OK Barger Motion to Protect, Support Crime Victims
Programs at the Castaic Lake Recreation Area and pool are set to return after the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a motion to restore the budget for the county's Department of Parks and Recreation.
Castaic Lake, Pool Programs to Return as Supes Restore Parks & Rec Funding
The city of Santa Clarita has awarded a contract to the Los Angeles Kings and American Sports Entertainment Company (ASEC) for the operation of the city-owned ice rink, located at 27745 Smyth Drive in Valencia.
L.A. Kings, ASEC to Operate Former Ice Station Valencia Rink
The California Air Resources Board or CARB is not doing enough to measure and analyze whether its transportation programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are effective, the state auditor said in a report issued Tuesday.
California Auditor Demands CARB Prove Climate Programs Are Working
California Governor Gavin Newsom Tuesday signed into law a comprehensive six-bill relief package of immediate actions to speed needed relief to individuals, families, and businesses suffering the most significant economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Newsom Signs 6-Bill COVID-19 Relief Package to Aid Hard-Hit Californians
1993 - Jury awards Newhall Land $2.3 million for "Valencia" trademark infringement by Palmer apartments at Valle del Oro, Newhall [story]
Palmer Guilty
%d bloggers like this: