HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Over 70% of students in Mid-Pacific Institute’s middle and high school grades play at least one sport.
Through much of the pandemic, the Manoa school has kept its athletes engaged through safe workouts and practices.
“We had two sports start out the first week of November, and we added two sports every week so that we could build upon our success,” Athletic Director Scott Wagner said.
To keep students safe, Mid-Pac gathers players in small groups and requires masks and physical distancing.
This is softball player Alyssa Nakagawa’s senior season.
“We just have to be mindful of washing our hands and spraying down equipment, not sharing equipment with other groups. I feel it is a lot to do but I’m just thankful that we are able to play,” she said.
Rather than scrimmages, athletes focus on skills and drills that minimize physical contact.
Basketball player Luke Pacarro said players have gotten used to keeping a physical distance during workouts.
“If we’re just waiting on the side for a drill we have to stay 6 feet apart. Normally, we’re all grouped together and talking and socializing,” he said.
Wagner said right now twelve of the Owls’ programs are running, and they all have separate staging and changing areas.
“We have spaced every program out on campus so that there isn’t a lot of contact between programs,” he said.
Winter sports swimming and tennis actually held competitions.
Working with Spectrum, Mid-Pac livestreamed some events so parents could watch their kids play. On Monday, softball starts six-day-a-week practices.
“It feels really good to be back on the field with my teammates and my coaches,” Nakagawa said.
The boys’ basketball season was canceled. Pacarro said the workouts helped ease the disappointment.
“Having these workouts and being able to be with my team, it really built us up and brought our spirits back up,” he said.
Mid-Pac began implementing its safe practice protocols in the fall.
“It’s been terrific to get the student athletes back on the courts and fields, to be able to offer them some training and development at this hard time,” Wagner said.
The Interscholastic League of Honolulu will soon decide which sports that are scheduled to begin in March can actually compete.
Whatever happens, Mid-Pac has worked hard to ensure its athletes are ready to play.