Aquatics Cleared to Dive into a Pandemic Season

Junior Mekhi Jones looks for a player who is open during a game played Sept. 3, 2019.

Joyce Feuerborn

Junior Mekhi Jones looks for a player who is open during a game played Sept. 3, 2019.

Jorge Lopez and Anthony Rendon

For weeks and weeks, athletic director of Godinez Fundamental High School, Lisa Treen, searched for a qualified head coach for both boys and girls water polo teams. 

From a video released to students and staff in September on YouTube, Treen said, “we are not going to field aquatics this year given the situation.”

But, with numerous flyers posted on Instagram and the morning announcements promoting sports, Treen was able to find two coaches who are walk-ons. 

The Head Boys Coach is Misael Cruz, who is returning from last year, and for the Head Girls Coach, we have Bruce Skibby.

According to Treen, they are only fielding varsity water polo this year and out of season conditioning workouts started on October 15, 2020.

During out of season conditioning workouts, boys and girls water polo teams still have to share the pool with Valley High School on top of following the district’s regulations. 

Last year’s captain for the junior varsity team, Idaly Ramirez, explained that Cruz is not too worried about the scores as long as the girls have fun and enjoy the season.

Ramirez said that they only practice three times a week and with practices, they split the day between two different pods.

“It has been hard getting a week’s worth of practice into almost four hours,” said Ramirez. 

Treen asked all fall athletes to get cleared as soon as possible. If athletes don’t get cleared for their appropriate sport then that sport will be canceled and will dictate the participation of the school. And, with everything going on, athletes are now required to get a new sports screening.

Currently, the City of Santa Ana provides free COVID-19 testing for all students in Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) at schools that include: Godinez, Valley, Century, and Segerstrom High Schools. 

Students are informed with these testing sites through their school email.

This year will be difficult due to several precautions that students need to take.  Coaches will be stricter with COVID-19 policies because if one student shows any symptoms, then they ruin it for the whole team.

Treen said, “If you do not feel well, you are not invited. You need to take personal responsibility. I’m not playing. Follow the guidelines.” 

Ramirez said that she is worried how her team needs to be ready to play in such a short amount of time. 

“I hope we are able to have a better season than past years and enjoy every moment of it as this is my last year playing water polo,” said Ramirez. 

She added, “I would appreciate it if students would go and support the aquatics team.”

If you plan on participating, then players must wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands, and bring their own water. This is required and expected. 

What isn’t expected is how the waterpolo season will play out.