Athletes return to practice, hope to compete


Junior Alex Orji

David Siburt, Writer

For athletes the upcoming season comes with a lot of uncertainty.  With COVID-19 infection rates still high, sports like football, volleyball, tennis and cross-country hope the season will still continue.

One of the challenges most athletes are facing is achieving and maintaining top physical performance for the upcoming season.

Quarterback junior Joshua Vaughn said it has been very difficult to stay in shape during the pandemic. 

”I’ve had trouble getting the same amount of time throwing and working out,” Vaughn said.  “I haven’t been able to work with my receivers, and it’s been difficult to get time in the weight room.”

One bright spot through all the bad in this offseason was the transfer of junior star quarterback Alexander Orji.

“I am very excited to be a Mustang,” Orgi said. “I expect us to win a lot of games and have a great season.”

With the only district loss last year to Wylie, the varsity football team will be looking for a win.  Wylie is the only team in district 9-6A that is located in Collin County.  Because of this, Wylie was able to start practices before the rest of 9-6A schools which are all part of Garland ISD.  Wylie also has an additional pre-district game scheduled that the Mustangs don’t have on the schedule. 

“We hope and expect to win district,” junior lineman Joshua Trammel said.  “Every year we feel like we have a good chance, but this season is so different. You never know.  We know our biggest competition this season is Wylie. They barely beat us last year, and we can’t wait to play them again this year.”

When it comes to challenges with the coronavirus, the Lady Mustang volleyball team has a whole different set of challenges. Because they play inside, there is a higher chance of outbreak.

“I’m obviously worried about it,” junior Macy Puckett said. ”I know multiple people who are at risk, and it’s kinda scary. I really hope we can play and dominate the district another year.”

The Lady Mustangs have finally been allowed to practice in the gym again, but some things have changed.

”It’s been very weird in practice with all the restrictions,” junior Emily Westbrook said. “Like after a good play, we can’t all meet up and celebrate, and it’s hard to communicate on the bench. It’s just a completely different atmosphere.”

The tennis team has also had their share of struggles with the pandemic taking away practice time on the court. 

”It’s been hard to practice with the team because we have to stay apart,” junior Savannah Loop said, “But we found ways to workout. The goal is just to stay sharp until we can really get into practice and our season.”

Of all the fall sports, cross country is the least impacted by social distancing during practice.  Most of the team have been able to continue running during the pandemic.  They are at a  disadvantage since many other teams outside our district have been able to run together as a team and really start their in-season practices. 

“Well, it’s going to be a tough season since we’re going against some schools who have been practicing more since we were quarantined and have had the chance to build some of that team chemistry,” junior Israel Garcia said. “We haven’t had the chance to build, so we are going to need to stay focused from the very beginning.”