Local athletes are finding their way back onto fields and courts as the region continues to reopen from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Baseball players took to the field at the Camano Complex last week after Island County was approved for Phase 3.
“I’m happy that the kids just get to put on the uniforms again,” said Matt Brennan, coach of the Cannons, a Junior American Legion team.
The Cannons were out on the field Friday, shaking off rust that accumulated since schools and sports were shut down in early March in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“At the beginning of the season we were hoping for 20 to 25 games,” Brennan said. “Now if we can get 10, that would be really great. We’d consider that a win.”
The team already has a few games tentatively scheduled, though it depends on the county where the game is scheduled being in at least Phase 3 — which allows for youth sports of up to 50 people per field.
“We don’t really have any expectations,” Brennan said. “We just want to go play and enjoy it.”
Stanwood High boys basketball coach Zach Ward said at least 10 of his players are on a mix of AAU teams that traveled to Idaho last weekend for tournaments.
Here we go folks.. D-1 Elite tipping off! Good to be back in gym pic.twitter.com/ljvOznW11s— Northsound Basketball Academy (@NBAcademy_AAU) June 19, 2020
“It’s the closest place they could drive to and play,” Ward said.
Prior to that, groups of five had been practicing outside locally.
“It’s not the same,” he said. “But they’re excited to play after nothing much in the spring.”
Some Spartans are planning to travel to Florida, Nevada and possibly Arizona for tournaments in July, Ward said.
“The hard part is the travel,” Ward said. “Typically we don’t have to leave the state.”
Stanwood High girls basketball coach Trent Adams said several girls are also traveling on AAU teams to find games.
Local lacrosse athletes have started practicing at Heritage Park in Stanwood in groups of no more than five.
“Typically, the summer season starts this week,” Stanwood Lacrosse President Tyler Lewis said. “But everything has been pushed back to late July and early August. The schedule has changed, but we’re a full go for the summer season.”
Lewis said the league — which features teams ranging from fourth graders to high schoolers — is still working on guidelines on spectators but they are confident the kids will be able to play as long as the county is in Phase 3.
“The kids are excited to just see their friends, some of which they haven’t seen since school was canceled,” Lewis said. “And it’s not just the kids who are excited. The parents are excited to get out of the house and do something, to have a routine again. It’s starting to feel like we’re getting back to normal. Sports are huge. You can see the morale improve in the community.”
Meanwhile, the Stanwood-Camano YMCA announced last week that it is reopening its pools on Tuesday, June 23, for lap swimming and water walking. The pool will be open for reservations from 2-6:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Reservations will be required and can be made via their mobile app or by calling the branch. Sessions are limited to one hour.
The rest of the facility remains closed, but it could open in Phase 3.