COVID-19 and Chandler Prep Sports
May 10, 2020 by Caleb Gottry, Chandler Preparatory Academy
Caleb Gottry attends Chandler Preparatory Academy and is a member of the AIA’s Student SID program.
On March 30th, 2020, Governor Doug Ducey announced the suspension of spring semester extracurriculars due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Arizona. The AIA and as an extension, Chandler Preparatory Academy, abided by these decisions, ultimately leading to the cancellation of the spring season of athletics. I reached out to some of the season coaches as well as strength and speed coach Bobby Davis to get their insights and input into the effect of the cancellation on their athletes and the Chandler Prep athletic community.
Although the season was just beginning and many teams were unable to play more than one game, coaches were able to build a team and get in a few weeks of practice. Sand Volleyball, one of Chandler Prep’s newer sports, showed exciting promise in the early part of the season. Head Coach, Jason Harris said this:
“We were definitely going to have another strong year! We were undefeated and we just started to hit our stride in terms of teams playing together. We would have done very well this season!”
Perhaps the most notable of the season’s early accomplishments is the Titan’s softball team with Head Coach Shannon Brodnik. Going into spring break, they were 3-0 in regular season play as well as runners up in the Valley Christian tournament.
Emotionally, the athletes and the coaches were thrown by the unprecedented nature of the situation. Especially affected were the seniors and those who were not coming back for another season at Chandler Prep. Tennis Head Coach, Michele Caporali spoke to the other end of the equation saying,
“I emailed my team and parents the day I heard from the AIA that we were officially done, which might have been one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. It made everything feel so much more permanent. I received heartbreaking emails from parents and players and above everything I felt awful for my seniors. As a coach it hurt to know there was nothing I could do to make it better and it was completely out of my hands. During matches we accept that feeling, but this was so much harder to grasp in this situation.”
Bobby Davis, the Titan’s strength and speed coach, interacts with many athletes year-round in different sport-specific, off-season, or general training. The program flourished in this past year and he was proud to see “a record high of 121 athletes come through the weight room in one given day including 40 off-season athletes.” Bobby encourages the athletes to continue training at home to reduce the risk of injury upon return and continue building strength and speed as well as honing sport-specific skills. His daily at-home workouts, including warm ups, strength exercises and speed exercises can be found on Instagram (@titanstrengthandspeed). He gives this advice to the Titan athletes:
“I want the athlete to understand that times of uncertainty can either bring out the best in us or the worst in us. Look at this time as an opportunity for growth, to get out of our comfort zones, and allow the adversity to challenge you in a positive way. Remember, diamonds are formed under pressure, so do not run from the pressure, that’s where growth lies.”
The Titan coaches look forward to next year's season and training year with excitement and ambition, and they hope to continue to help the Titans grow as athletes, students, and people. Titan Up.