BUGGED

DM athletes eager to take the field amid different ‘vibe’ triggered by COVID-19 concerns

A+%27DIFFERENT%27+VIBE%3A+During+a+49-21+victory+against+Barry+Goldwater%2C+senior+tight+end+Anthony+Pescatore+%2831%29+blocks+for+the+kick+returner.+%E2%80%9CThe+vibe+is+going+to+be+totally+different+since+there+is+no+Wolfden--that+huge+support+system+is+gone%2C%E2%80%9D+Pescatore+said.+The+Wolves+leaped+to+a+fast+3-0+start%2C+outscoring+opponents+97-38--but+the+team+was+forced+to+postpone+its+Homecoming+game+Oct.+23+against+Casa+Grande+after+a+player+from+Barry+Goldwater+tested+positive+for+coronavirus.

Courtesy of the Pescatores

A ‘DIFFERENT’ VIBE: During a 49-21 victory against Barry Goldwater, senior tight end Anthony Pescatore (31) blocks for the kick returner. “The vibe is going to be totally different since there is no Wolfden–that huge support system is gone,” Pescatore said. The Wolves leaped to a fast 3-0 start, outscoring opponents 97-38–but the team was forced to postpone its Homecoming game Oct. 23 against Casa Grande after a player from Barry Goldwater tested positive for coronavirus.

Katie Hofmann, Staff writer

PERSPECTIVE

“Sports,” said tennis legend Billy Jean King, “are a microcosm of society.”

DM athletes have proved resilient in the best way they possibly could; these young competitors have truly shown the real value of sportsmanship. Whether their season was cut short because of lockdown orders, or if they now have new and foreign rules for the start of their season–this year’s Wolves have never been more eager to promote their skills. 

“It’s been a real struggle being away from the field and teammates,” said senior Anothony Pescatore, defensive end and tight end for the varsity football team, “but we are as eager as ever to get playing again.”

As of Oct. 20, the Arizona Department of Health has confirmed nearly 233,000 coronavirus cases in Arizona, along with nearly 6,000 deaths. Arizonans have realized the true impact that this virus has put onto our communities, and Desert Mountain is no exception.

Scottsdale, and all of the United States has seen their favorite stores go out of business, or have seen loved ones fall ill or pass away because of this pandemic. 

But the mindset of our athletes have not changed, and advocated reopening sports at school, and to practice harder than they ever had to compensate for the loss of time. 

Seniors report ‘a different vibe’

Athletes fear the melancholic feel to the games this year–aggravated by the late start to the season and the potential of lack of fans–will be an obstacle to overcome.

“The vibe is going to be totally different since there is no Wolfden–that huge support system is gone,” Pescatore said, adding that the “vibe” started weeks before in training camp, with the precautions that the school is taking to keep everyone safe. 

“The season started five months ago, starting the summer workouts/practices…we have to wear masks, have daily temperature checks, and to sign wavers to discuss if anyone is feeling any symptoms,” he said.

Coronavirus already has affected the season, he added.

“Three or four players got the virus, so practices had to stop for three weeks to make sure that nobody else became sick,” he said, “but this didn’t affect anything in the long run since we just started back from where we left off.” 

The virus has been the only opponent to slow the Wolves since the start of the season. The Wolves leaped to a fast 3-0 start, outscoring opponents 97-38–but the team was forced to postpone its Homecoming game Oct. 23 against Casa Grande after a player from Barry Goldwater (its opponent the previous week) tested positive for coronavirus. 

Scholarships, futures affected 

However, the virus’ affects off the field are even more significant, particularly for athletes looking to play their sport at the college level.

“This has definitely affected scholarships,” Pescatore said. “We have about three or four [division 1] players on our team, but since [Covid-19], there has been little to no college scouts showing up at our practice.” 

Athletes from all sports are feeling the pinch. 

“I was more disappointed in the fact that the virus turned into a pandemic, and then ended up cancelling our season,” said sophomore Luigi Andradea, who saw the soccer season cancelled last spring. “My teammates had the same reaction, we were all equally upset.”

But the spring athletes said they are not using the pandemic as an excuse. 

“We meet up at the fields and we practice for a while since we aren’t allowed to gather at the school,” Andradea said. 

Our Fall Season, Coaches, And Counselors

DM Athletic Director Mr. Cervantes safety-first attitude was not questioned by players or parents. 

“There was no arguing from the parents, said Madie Hepner, a sophomore on the women’s golf team. “They all agreed that these precautions needed to be taken in order for us to start playing again.”

And teachers said there is a bright side.

“Since I cannot see the players as often in person as I was used to doing, it allowed the players to be more responsible about their academics,” said Mr. Fredericks, women’s softball coach. 

The Bright Future

As Desert Mountain looks to the near and far future, players and coaches can proudly say that they gave it their all and took the necessary precautions that were needed to keep everyone healthy, because at the end of the day, we are all a Desert Mountain family. 

Each player seems to have the same goal this year, to get their fair share of playing time, and to feel as normal as they possibly can, even with the current events that engulf each of every day. 

So far, this season seems like it will be a success, however, only time will tell. 

“I am sincerely looking forward to this season, these players have been working hard,” said Mr.Cervantez, “and I am anticipating good things”