COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Pandemic restrictions have changed day to day life for students over the past year and a half, and sports have been heavily restricted. Now student athletes are ready to get back to normal this fall, but with numbers going up due to COVID-19 variants Northside Highschool softball Coach Brandon Jenkins is remaining vigilant.
“That kind of stuff you know it really hit’s home then you realize that, hey, your job as a teacher is to take care of these students. Make sure that they get safe home to their parents.” says Jenkins.
Extracurricular activities in high school do more than just allow students an opportunity for fun. Studies show that, “Youth who felt more connected to their school reported lower levels of depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, social anxiety, and sexual activity, as well as higher levels of self-esteem and more adaptive use of free time.”
And the softball team at Northside High has been giving students the opportunity to get back together, as restrictions loosen, in these trying times.
Jenkins said, “Last year we we’re not able to do off-season workouts because of COVID, that’s just a big part of our program. And so this year we were able to get back in the weight room we started that in January so we can go 4 days a week in January until today was our last offseason workout.”
He went on to say, “So just getting in the weight room and getting stronger, and just the girls getting around each other and being able to bond and be with each other. It’s been huge for us.”
Some of the players have seen the difference that the time in summer camp has made.
Leilani Martinez, a varsity pitcher, said “It’s so fun. I’m going to really miss it cause it’s my last year. But um as far as the summer camp. It was like really good. Especially with the girls that came in. I feel like we’re really bonding, and like really coming together. Not just like a team but as like a family. Like a big group of sisters.”
Kannon Wells, a catcher on the varsity roster, says “Definitely this summer it’s been a tremendous difference with the amount of work we put in and the effort everyone’s given. And, just the fact that everyone’s been here working hard and you can really see a difference in everyone’s potential.”