Shadow Hills High School Football: Emphasis on Player Safety

Shadow Hills High School Football: Emphasis on Player Safety

Brandy Flores

Shadow Hills high school’s football program is welcoming its student-athletes back to begin training for the upcoming season. Head coach Alex Esquibel says that he’s been in constant contact with his team since lockdown started.

“We talked to them, we had meetings with them, informing them of what’s happening. We try to keep them informed as much as we can. What we are doing is we send our workouts to them and if they need help they can call us personally, but mainly we try to do it through zoom. “

The idea of practicing in a team setting again is exciting. But, in the midst of a global pandemic, it’s easy to be wary. So how did Shadow Hills ease the minds of parents and athletes when it was time to get back onto the field? By making safety the number one priority.

“Most people weren’t sure,” Esquibel says. “The kids were not sure what to expect, but now they’re all in, we’re just flowing. We are all trying to social distance, constantly telling the coaches to put their masks on, to tell their players to put their masks on. It’s just a constant reminder of having to do it. Because of COVID, we are taking a different approach. In a regular year, we would want to win championships and we still want to, but we are more cautious of the kid’s safety. We want what is best for the kids, not what is best for us or the championship. “

Coach Esquibel and his football program at Shadow Hills are optimistic about the future and hope that their student-athletes can use conditioning practice as a healthy outlet to help them grow physically and think more positively.

“It’s about the kids, and they have been locked up for nine months. This is why we are doing what we are doing, the way we are doing it. We want the kids to come together as a team. The best way I found putting them together as a team, is to have fun. I think it’s important just to keep them sane because if you look at the whole picture, not just football, they need something. I think this is a great outlet for them.” 

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