by Marla Terminel
After members of both teams went under isolation for COVID-19 risk and exposure, Pueblo’s first kickoff game against Sahuaro High School, originally scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 2, was postponed due to protocols.
The match was one of two that are a part of Southern Arizona’s 11th annual “Coaches for Charity Kickoff” event.
“It [the cancelation] was unfortunate, but due to an abundance of caution, it had to happen,” said Pueblo’s athletic director, Coach Miguel “Miggs” Sandoval.
Pueblo’s football season will now open on Friday, Sept. 10, at Rincon/University High School.
“It was sad at the moment, but I realized the season wouldn’t be cancelled,” said Josiah Gastelum, a sophomore on this year’s varsity squad. He added that despite the untimely circumstances, postponing the game would also give the team more time to practice for the late kickoff game. “Having more time to prepare for this season may be a blessing from the football gods.”
Mr. Jesus Jacquez, Pueblo’s band director and music teacher, said that COVID-19 has been a constant barrier on everyone’s lives, as it is one that impacts athletes, performers, as well as the entire student body and staff individually.
Through the heightened health procedures and cancelled events, the team has not only learned to overcome challenges, but have thrived with their resources.
The Kickoff game against Sahuaro will now be held Thursday, Oct. 29.
“COVID isn’t stopping us,” Gastelum said. “We’ll keep getting better and work hard through our problems as a team.”