Moorpark Athletics will return to competition in April for the first time in over a year


Ryan Bough

The Raider football stadium remains empty on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021 at Moorpark College. No sports competitions have been played at the stadium in over a year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Photo credit: Ryan Bough

By Kennedy Collier

The earth had almost made its way around the sun since the last time Moorpark College had any in-person activity on campus. COVID-19 has put a pause on almost everything, which included the summer and fall seasons of student-athletes at Moorpark.

For approximately 347 days, the fields and courts of Moorpark College remained empty. No practices, no games, no teams. None of the benefits of a group of people coming together to achieve a common goal. A whole year is taken from them through no fault of their own.

All of the waiting may be over.

On Feb. 26, the Moorpark College sport’s Twitter page confirmed the playing of all outdoor spring sports. All traditional spring sports including baseball, softball, men & women’s track and beach volleyball will be played. The sacrificial lamb was unfortunately men’s volleyball due to the sport being played indoors.

Matt Crater, the newly hired Athletic Director, seemed optimistic about the restarting of play.

“Plans have been in place for a while now,” Crater stated. “Our biggest question is ‘Can the school support (the restart) with the infrastructure we have?’”

Practices can officially start on March 27 and games can start as early as April 10.

Crater also explained that no schedules for any sports have been finalized, but he believes that the college is prepared for this shortened season.

“We have to give coaches the best chance to help students to keep them around,” Crater said. “We have to communicate how the plan is going to work and how it can be done safely.”

The athletic director emphasized that the return to spring sports would not have been possible without the hard work of the school’s athletic trainers.

‘It’s been a hard year,” Cherisse Meichtry, athletic trainer at Moorpark College said. “It will be stressful and different but I’m excited.”

Meichtry explained that the school will use a method of testing known as “surveillance testing.” This involves testing a certain percentage of student-athletes and monitoring the increase or decrease in COVID-19.

Everyone within the athletic department seems ready to get sports back into their student-athletes lives.

Tommy Arellano, the athletic equipment manager for Moorpark College, couldn’t wait to see sports back again.

“We are excited. We want to be back. We want sports back,” Arellano exclaimed.

The returning student-athletes won’t be able to play a full season.

According to Crater, only 70% of a regular-season may be played. For example, baseball will only play a maximum of 28 games.

While it may not be the perfect return everyone is hoping for, this may be the beginning of a return to normal.