By Ray Hamill — At this stage we’ll gladly take some small victories.
And with that in mind, this past week has been one of the most positive for the local sports community in some time.
And that’s obviously good news, because we’re starting to see some light at the end of what has been a long tunnel.
On Monday, Fortuna High became the first local high school to resume some sort of organized sports activity, with Ferndale and St. Bernard’s — the other H-DNL schools holding in-person classes — each saying they are likely to follow suit as soon as they adjust to being back.
At the college level, this week also saw the College of the Redwoods sports teams return to practice, again on a very restricted basis.
While at the youth level, McKinleyville Little League has also been given the go-ahead by local health officials to return to practice under the recently issued state-wide youth sports guidelines.
While it’s just a start and games remain prohibited, it’s refreshing to see and an extremely important step on the road back to normalcy.
These young athletes need to get back out there for their own mental health, even if that means on a restricted basis.
Because sports at the community level is about far more than the competition. It’s about the camaraderie and getting to see your friends. It’s about exercising both your body and your mind. And it’s about feeling you’re a part of something, which is difficult if you’re forced to practice on your own or play catch with yourself.
Being back out there, even while donning face masks and adhering to a whole new set of rules, is good for the mental well being of these young athletes (not to mention their coaches).
This week we’re beginning to see that again, and that’s good news for the local sports community.