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Life as a Soccer Player

Many athletes can come to the agreement that it is a relief that we, as Bella Vista students are able to get out and play the sport[s] that we love. After interviewing a couple of Varsity soccer players, loads of insight was provided that can help others get a better perspective as to what it is like playing during the pandemic. Soccer, like many sports, acts as an outlet for student athletes. As times get tough in the homestretch of the school year, people find a sense of normalcy and comfort in going to practices, games, scrimmages, and more. Both Delaney Bunse-Johnson and Josh Figueroa allowed BV Newsroom to take that inside look into their lives as soccer players.

What is an average practice like for you? “We take our practices seriously and are constantly trying to better ourselves with the help of our coaches as well as having fun with each-other.” (Josh Figueroa, Junior)

“For Bella Vista, an average practice is an hour and a half long. We start practice at 6:00 and end at 7:30. We start off with dynamic stretching and then do 4v1 or 3v1 rondos to warm up, and sometimes Coach Shep will have us do a different drill. Then we usually end with a scrimmage of some sort.” (Delaney Bunse-Johnson, Junior)

How have practices and games changed due to the pandemic? “During both games and practices we try and distance ourselves more as well as wearing masks when we aren't’ doing drills or just playing soccer but other than that the intensity and the levels of competitiveness are still there.” (Josh Figueroa, Junior)

“The only thing that changed about practice during the pandemic is that we have to wear masks when we walk into practice. During games it’s a little bit different because the referees have to wear a mask so they can’t blow the whistle in their mouth. A lot of them got handheld whistles that they can blow by pressing a button.” (Delaney Bunse-Johnson, Junior)

How is BV soccer practicing proper COVID-19 protocol during games and practices? “We just try and keep a safe distance as well as waring our masks when needed.” (Josh Figueroa, Junior)

“BV soccer doesn’t really have a lot of restrictions, the only thing we have to do is wear a mask when we walk into practice or into games. Once we start playing, we’re allowed to take the mask off though.” (Delaney Bunse-Johnson, Junior)

How has soccer helped you feel a sense of normalcy during the pandemic? “I personally haven’t played a lot of soccer before the high school season so being able to play now definitely lifted my spirits and just made me a lot happier overall.” (Josh Figueroa, Junior)

“Soccer has helped me feel a sense of normalcy because having practice every day reminds me of how my life used to be prior to COVID.” (Delaney Bunse-Johnson, Junior)

What is your favorite part of the sport? “My favorite part of the sport is definitely my teammates and just winning games or making a good play on the field.” (Josh Figueroa, Junior)

“My favorite part of the sport is being able to play and connect with girls and meet so many people. It feels like every single team that I’m on is another family to me.” (Delaney Bunse-Johnson, Junior)

How many games have you had this season? Is the number drastically different from

previous years? “It’s definitely felt a little more rushed this year compared to last year, we didn’t get a whole lot of practice before our first game; but other than that we still have the same amount of games.” (Josh Figueroa, Junior)

“The season is shorter. Instead of having pre-league games, we only have league games. Usually the season is three to four months long; this year it’s only eight weeks long.” (Delaney Bunse-Johnson, Junior)

How are the teams looking this year? Did enough girls try out? “We thankfully had enough numbers for Varsity but I’ve seen more people show up in the past.” (Josh Figueroa)

“The teams were pretty good and there was a decent amount of people that tried out. The boys team only have two teams - JV and Varsity - instead of three. But for girls, we have a Freshman team, JV team, and Varsity team. For Varsity, there were no cuts because there were only about 20 girls that tried out.” (Delaney Bunse-Johnson, Junior)

Have you personally run into any issues regarding practices? “I personally haven’t had any issues with practices, we have our COVID routine we do before practice and then we get to playing.” (Josh Figueroa, Junior)

“No, I have not personally run into any issues regarding practices.” (Delaney Bunse-Johnson, Junior)

How do you balance soccer and school? “They way I balance soccer and school is doing a little homework before soccer and a little bit after, so far it seems to work pretty well.” (Josh Figueroa, Junior)

“I usually try to get all of my homework done before soccer practice just so I don’t have to worry about it. But a lot of times that’s not the case and I have to do homework after practice as well. Usually I just don’t get as much sleep as I would if I didn’t have practice because it’s a good two hours out of my day that I spend driving to practice and practicing. But I’ve gotten a pretty good schedule worked out.” (Delaney Bunse-Johnson, Junior)

What would you be doing if you weren’t playing soccer right now? “If I wasn’t participating in high school soccer I’d probably be finding another physical activity to do or hanging out with friends.” (Josh Figueroa, Junior)

“If I weren’t playing soccer for Bella Vista right now, I would be playing for my comp team, or I would just be focusing on school and even maybe my social life.” (Delaney Bunse-Johnson, Junior)

While everyone copes and handles things much differently from one another, athletes share a routine that involves endurance, sportsmanship, and teamwork. Soccer has become a large part of these students' lives. The history of sports have come a long way, and without them, where would many people be?

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