Water polo season temporarily halted after positive COVID-19 tests

The+BOHS+pool+deck+is+empty+as+girls%27+and+boys%27+varsity+water+polo+teams+were+both+put+in+mandatory+10-day+quarantines+after+players+on+each+team+tested+positive+for+COVID-19.+

Allie Haluska

The BOHS pool deck is empty as girls’ and boys’ varsity water polo teams were both put in mandatory 10-day quarantines after players on each team tested positive for COVID-19.

Just days before boys’ and girls’ water polo seasons were set to begin, athletes from both teams tested positive for COVID-19 on March 3 and March 5, respectively. As result, both squads were forced into a mandatory 10-day quarantine.

Prior to the cancellations, both teams had started daily practices on March 1 after signing a COVID-19 release waiver. 

Kyle Murata, girls’ head coach, was disappointed by the delay in the start of their season, which had already been suspended for six months due to the pandemic. However, Murata acknowledged that “the health and safety of the athletes and their families is the number one priority, so [the postponement] needed to be done.”

Gracie Johnson, junior, had mixed emotions about games and practices being cancelled. She was initially “disappointed and bummed out” because of the hard work and anticipation leading up to the first game, but she also felt a “little sense of relief” because the team had not played water polo in a year and needed additional time to get into competitive shape.

While she understands the reasoning behind the cancellations, Ashlyn Oh, sophomore, felt “disappointed about the games being cancelled,” because she loves playing alongside her teammates. However, she still believed that a 10-day quarantine was necessary to avoid spreading the virus.

During the 10-day quarantine, girls’ water polo did asynchronous dryland workouts, sent via email by Murata. Boys’ water polo met daily on Zoom for attendance.

Once the quarantine was lifted, both teams commenced their seasons in contests against El Modena High School at Servite High School on Monday afternoon. Girls’ varsity lost to the Vanguards, 13-8, while the boys began their season with a resounding 20-3 win. 

In order to compete in yesterday’s games, each player needed to test negative for COVID-19, sending proof of the negative result to the school, and those who previously tested positive needed to be cleared by their doctor. 

While contact in the pool is expected, masks and social distancing are required when athlete’s are out of the water.

“We can only hope that we can move forward with our last two weeks and hope for the best,” Ethan Silleta, senior, said.