Athletic Enthusiasm

With the lose of all spring sports athletes and coaches found new and inovative ways to keep players in shape.


For many students, spring sports is an exciting time to play the sport you love with the people who you can call a family. Or for some, it’s a new chapter where they are just trying something different and putting themselves out there.

When schools were temporarily closed, it was devastating news. Not being able to play the sport that they love and grow as an athlete is a sad possibility that can happen to an athlete. But with high hopes of returning to school and starting the season again, some coaches sent out workouts for players to help stay in shape during quarantine and some athletes made up their own.

  For Tinaya Willams, her senior season was cut short. While running track for the past three years, Tinaya was very dedicated to her sport. Even though there were no daily workouts sent to the athletes, she continued to train to stay in shape.

  “I would go on a jog around my neighborhood then do some dynamic warmups, like the ones we would do at track, and then I would go to my backyard and do mini hurdle drills and hurdle warm-ups against my fence,” Taniya Willams said.

While training for a season that no longer exists may seem pointless to some, Taniya Willams’s training was more focused on how to better herself.

  “I kepr training because it gave me a little hope of going back to school even though I knew we weren’t. And I’m going to college for track, so I wanna go into my freshman year of college-ready and prepared,” Taniya Williams said.

Junior Paige Vandaele was about to play her second year on the girl’s varsity soccer team and she was filled with excitement for what the new season could bring after last year’s success.

 “I was really excited to play with the seniors and play with all of the new people who had joined the team. Me and Kenzie Deuser have been inseparable since my freshman year but this season was going to be our crackhead season because we have always been the joking players on the team,” Paige Vandaele said.

But just like all other athletes, that excitement was short-lived.  On top of the workouts that were given to Paige Vandaele by her coach, she decided to make a Snapchat story where she posted daily workouts to not just help herself stay in shape but also anyone else who was interested.

“I have always found working out is a great outlet for me to either take my anger out, cope with things, or just having it be something to do in my downtime to keep me physically fit. And without people being able to see their friends or go out I created my workout and shared it with people as a way of saying take this and find your peace with it, find a way to cope and have fun even if you feel stuck,” Paige Vandaele said.

While on top of making and doing her own workouts, Paige Vandaele would continue to do the workouts sent out from her coaches.

“With the soccer workouts, we were able to incorporate more ball skills. We would also have some workouts to do on the Nike app which was focused more on running and conditioning, and some weights and stretches. In my workouts, I focus each day to work on a certain part of my body. And the type of running I do with my workout depends on what part of my body I am focusing on that day,” Paige Vandaele said.

And for senior Brice Jabez who has high dreams of becoming an Olympic athlete in running the 400-meter hurdles, he wasn’t going to let this thing called quarantine stop him from reaching his goal.

“When school was postponed I was pretty upset at first because the day they canceled it was our first meet and I was ready for war,” Brice Jabez said.

So now with this new amount of extra time, Brice Jabez continues to work and push himself to get better.

 “Because a lot of the equipment I usually use is at the gym, I had to modify my workouts so I do push-ups, lots of abb workouts, calf workouts, and I go on a 30 to 45-minute run every morning,” Brice Jabez said.

While this hard work and dedication isn’t in every athlete you may meet, it just shows the deep love students have for their respective sports. When news about all Missouri schools being closed for the rest of the school year hit, it was a big loss for all those who trained and prepared for their game day. But even though all spring sports are canceled many athletes continue to work to stay in shape, so when their next game comes they will be more ready than ever before.