This year’s Corona pandemic has resulted in many activities being halted, postponed, or cancelled. Sports has taken massive hits this year whether it be competitively or recreationally.
Two girls of Venice High had their softball season cut short this year. However, this is nowhere near the end of the road for them athletically. Both Camryn Steele and Cailee Grayhorse Pupecki have been recruited and committed to continue playing softball competitively during their college years.
Despite softball fields being closed due to L.A’s quarantine lockdown, they have been making the most of their situations, working hard to prepare for next year. Here is what they have to say on how the pandemic has affected them, what they will be looking forward to as a college athlete, and how they are preparing themselves athletically and mentally.
Camryn Steele, Softball
“I have committed to play softball for St John’s University. I started playing Tee-ball at 4 years old and softball when I was 8. I am very excited for next year and to train with people from all over the country. I can’t wait to live with people of many different backgrounds whom I have so much in common with.
During quarantine lockdown, I feel like my game is suffering because I cannot perform reps at game speed. Parks are closed and my team practices have been cancelled because we have to be social distancing. At this rate, I will not be game ready but I will be in great shape. In order to prepare myself for college, I train every day. I want to look like a sophomore when I get there, instead of a freshman. In order to do so I have been incorporating more cardio into my workouts throughout the week.Training wise I feel lucky. I train with my brother-in-law who lives very close to me. He is a professional basketball player. He runs a sports academy where he is a player development coach. He likes to mix up my practices everyday. Some days I do weights, some cardio, and some agility. He does anything he can to make me stronger and improve my game.
Thankfully, Corona has not affected my recruitment but I have many friends that have been affected. This is because everyone in a fall sport in college has gotten back a year of eligibility. The location of fall semester is a big question mark right now. I know that my school is working hard to give us a normal fall semester but nothing has been confirmed. When quarantine is lifted, I look forward to going places. I can’t wait to go to the beach for something other than training.
As a high school athlete, I have learned a lot about time management and the power of hard work. I have also learned this year that you should play every game like it is your last. This is something that many of my coaches have told me, but I never really took it to heart until this year.
Moving forward, I will miss all of my Gondo teammates. They are all so hard working and they really respect the sport. I will also miss my coaches who took time out of their days to do anything they could for this team. I already miss my season because we were playing as one unit and I believe that this was a huge reason on why were so successful during our short, but sweet, season.”
Cailee Grayhorse Pupecki
“I have committed to play softball for the Academy of Art University on Nov. 21. I am majoring in Fashion Design. I started playing softball at 8 years old. I currently do most of my personal training at home with a tee and a Bownet. There is actually a softball field open by me too.
Corona has not affected my recruitment. However, quarantine has affected my athletic sense of team unity. I should be able to get back into the groove of things real fast when things reopen. These times have been really beneficial for releasing my anxieties.
I look forward to future team practices and beginning my college experience. In order to prepare myself, I am making sure that my state-of-mind flows smoothly and confidently. As a high school athlete, I’ve learned to have pride in my team and community. I hope to inspire others by my actions and my diversity on and off the field. In my free time I like designing my own clothes and sketching fashion designs.”