PHOTO: Senior Mason Johnstone stands in front of the goal box ready to defend his team’s goal during a scrimmage game in Utah.
By Stephanie Thompson,
For numerous high school athletes, competing on a club team is essential for college recruitment.
However, many club sport events and opportunities have been either canceled or postponed due to the unpredictable pandemic.
Regardless, some Davis High club sports continue to practice and even go out of state to compete.
Senior Mason Johnstone has played club lacrosse for nine years. He plays for a Sacramento team named ADVNC and practices with his team in Granite Bay two to three times a week, depending on the week.
Recently, his team traveled to Utah and Nevada for lacrosse scrimmages and will be traveling to Colorado in about a month to attend another scrimmage.
In addition to his club team, Johnstone also plays for the DHS lacrosse team. The main difference between club teams and high school teams is club sports are seen as more competitive compared to high school where it’s more recreational.
“It’s a higher level of play,” Johnstone said. “When you’re playing with your high school you always get the kids who play these travel teams and you get ones who don’t play. […] Rather than spending time to jell as a team, you’re having to catch all the starter kids up to where all the experienced players are.”
While traveling, Johnstone is sure to stay socially distant when necessary and uses hand sanitizer to ensure that germs aren’t spreading.
Although club sports this year is different than previous years, Johnstone still enjoys getting to see his team and play lacrosse. Getting to travel to various places and play is one of the reasons why Johnstone likes his travel team.
Junior Isabella Lester plays for club softball and has been playing for seven years. Recently, her team has traveled to San Leandro and Oregon for tournaments.
Lester’s team has its own indoor facility for practices along with an outdoor area where athletes can spread out a little more.
“Because there’s limited space in [the facility], we break up into smaller groups so that there’s less people in one room. We [also] have masks whenever we feel is needed, and are provided if we’re too close. Outdoor practices are more easy because it’s more spaced out and we don’t always need to be next to each other at our positions, ” Lester said.
Lester’s team doesn’t get to practice or play in as many tournaments compared to previous years, and as a result, more independent practice is required.
In addition, Lester notes how recruitment by college coaches is more challenging because it’s harder to get coaches to watch tournaments and find potential college athletes due to COVID-19 restrictions and less playing time.
In spite of the adjustments that had to be made in order to play safely, Lester is passionate about softball and strives to do the best she can.
“It’s something that I’ve always really wanted to excel and be great in. It’s something that I just enjoy doing, and I have fun with my teammates,” Lester said.