Local athletes not giving up on their season yet


File photo – Action from last year’s H-DNL qualifiers

By Ray Hamill — Despite a growing sense the high school sports seasons are done for the spring, not everyone is willing to throw in the towel just yet.

But then again, there’s a reason both the McKinleyville boys and Fortuna girls are both two-time defending H-DNL champions in track and field. They don’t give up easily.

“Right now, we still have to hope for the best,” McKinleyville head coach Rudy Garcia said. “We have to be hopeful.”

Fortuna co-head coach Norm Sotomayor echoed the sentiment.

“It’s real disappointing for the seniors, and for all the athletes, and coaches,” he said. “But maybe things will turn around and we’ll get out there to compete. Hopefully we’ll get something.”

The Huskies were set to unveil a new track this spring, which was installed during in the fall, but the debut meet on it has been pushed back.

The Huskies are also scheduled to host the Redwood Empire North Coast Section championships next year, although Sotomayor feels that may be pushed back until 2022 if this year’s section championships are canceled.

With all the local schools shut down at least through April 20, there won’t be any local high school sports events before that.

Garcia, however, remains hopeful the crisis will have cleared up sufficiently by May to allow for some competition.

“If we could even get in a few local meets in May, that would be huge,” he said. “We have enough local competitors where it would still be fun for the athletes and engaging for the coaches and fans.”

Like many of his fellow coaches, Garcia feels bad for his seniors and all of the local athletes who have been working hard for the season.

“It’s really unfortunate for the athletes,” he said. “Especially the ones that have been putting in the work since November.

“It’s tough for sure. A lot of athletes were looking forward to the season.”

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