Comeback Season


Nnenna Okpara , Contributor

March 1 marks the start of the 2021 track and field season. After the pandemic hit, it ended a very short-lived season for the girl’s team in 2020. It is up to the athletes to determine what type of season they want to have this year. 

Junior Kayelyn Tate a co-captain on the varsity squad has already mapped out and began her game plan for the upcoming season. Tate runs for a club team called Ultimate Speed Academy. 

“I run indoor track and I have been practicing with them four days out of the week and we have had two track meets and another one is scheduled before outdoor starts,” Tate said. “I try to do extra training at the YMCA or with my dad whenever I don’t have a regular practice.” 

Senior J’Nyah Elbert has already started prepping for the upcoming season as well, by participating in other physical activities earlier this year. 

“This year I ran Cross Country and I try to get out when I can,” Elbert said. “I don’t get out as much as I want to because the weather has been very iffy but, I do what I can to be prepared for what’s coming next season.” 

Unfortunately, becuase of COVID-19, there have been many restrictions placed in the county that have prohibited the progression of team sports at its full capacity. Each year Head Coach Ryan Banta hosts winter conditioning to get his athletes ready for the spring season. 

“It has been frustrating not to have a winter conditioning program this year and even more so after losing last year’s season, where we ranked as one of the top programs in the state,” Banta said. 

The frustration of losing a season that could have brought a state championship is devastating but safety always comes first. “We will do everything we can to stay safe, healthy, and competitive! What we can control is our attitude and effort; we will maximize both to make us as competitive as possible,” Banta said. 

The two co-captains agreed that this season will be very different. However, they alongside the head coach, are optimistic about what the future will hold. Elbert uses her motivation to push her to work harder so that she can have her best season yet.

“What motivates me is going hard for the people who didn’t get their senior year last year that’s my biggest motivation,” Elbert said. “I have to do it for my teammates and those who did not get their shot.” 

It can’t be easy losing a season, but motivation and perseverance have fueled this team so they are hungry for a comeback season this year. 

“I am excited to see how we can create opportunities in the face of the apparent hurdles all extracurriculars confront this spring. I have faith the athletes and coaches in all of PCH’s community will step up to the situation with grace and respect,” Banta said.