SIERRA VISTA — Nohema Romo and Hailey Ramos’ junior seasons came to an abrupt end after injuries prevented them from completing the season. This winter was their chance to return to the sports they love and represent their school one final time.
“I want to finish where I started,” Romo said. “I started here as a freshman and I want to go out as a senior (here).”
While teams across the county and state are taking the court, Buena High School winter athletes are sidelined.
Sierra Vista Unified School District administrators are not allowing athletics to resume until the schools return to hybrid learning. Other school districts have used virtual learning as the reason they are not having a winter sports season.
“This year has taken the prom, the graduation (and) the homecoming,” Buena senior soccer player Pablo Torres said. “All those experiences, which a lot of people say are the best experiences in high school, and we never got to enjoy that. And we’re not going to be able to enjoy senior playing time, which is the most bumming thing because a lot of us worked very hard for the offseason and the years before to be able to ge here. Now that’s being taken away.”
Ramos said while the decision stings a little more because she is a senior. She understands that all winter sport athletes in every grade are affected. She said not being able to play is having a negative effect mentally and emotionally on her and her fellow athletes. After years of work they have put in, they now can’t play for the first time in many years.
Ramos said she has reached out to the superintendent and other administrators as a team captain and on behalf of the freshmen. They are affected because athletics is an exciting part of starting high school.
“ ... Just putting the work and not being able to execute and put that into play because we won’t have a season is kinda hurtful,” Ramos said. “From my emails I haven’t gotten a response back yet. It’s kind of discouraging but I’m still trying to be hopeful.
Torres, Romo and Ramos agree that being able to play should be a choice for the athletes to make since the three agree sports can be played safely. Torres said during the club season the team he played on didn’t have an “outbreak” and it was able to complete the season.
The Arizona Interscholastic Association is allowing competition as long as masks are worn at all times. Torres, Romo and Ramos said they don’t mind having to wear masks or self-isolating so they can play.
“Other schools are doing it, so why can’t we?” Torres said. “There were sports (in the fall) like volleyball and football that kept playing when we were online (for schools).
“We really just want to play.”