The 2021-2022 School Years were supposed to be a happy and joyful time for student athletes, their families, coaches, fans, and their families, especially after the cancellations in fourth-quarter sports last year.
The majority of the island had received their COVID-19 vaccines and, after weeks of training with their respective teams it was time to start playing ball.
Interscholastic sports began earlier in the year, with non-contact sports. However, island-favorite soccer had yet to see daylight.
Guam was suffering from a third wave coronavirus infection as the school year began. Lou Leon Guerrero ordered schools to be closed and sports halted, requesting that teams retreat to their homes until the coast was clear. Schools remained closed for several weeks while courts, fields, and pitches were abandoned.
Leon Guerrero, Guam Department of Education general stakeholder meeting, stated that although there was no evidence that the current spike in coronavirus cases was related to the schools, it was only a matter of time until the virus made its way into institutions and infected youth. This was an unlikely outcome.
Leon Guerrero ordered schools to reopen and interscholastic activities to resume. Sports finally got underway after guidelines were issued by Department of Public Health and Social Service. These guidelines were a constantly changing hodgepodge of rules and regulation that served as a guideline for the resumption of sport.
As competitions resumed for the first quarter, COVID-19 numbers remained high and hospitalizations were still high. The numbers eventually dropped, and sports resumed as usual. Personal records were lowered, bumps were set, and then spiked and executed to perfection.
The unfavorable odds presented by a quick-to react government that required Guamanians adhere to regulations and restrictions, or face penalties, were overcome and student-athletes continued their leveling up, some becoming champions for the first time, while others became champions for the sixth consecutive year.
During the 22-month-long pandemic that resulted in 269 deaths, and 19,340 cases of the deadly illness, many student-athletes, their families, suffered. They were unable and unwilling to compete, and were unable and unwilling to find peace.
The Guam Daily Post extends deepest sympathy to all who have lost a loved one as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
We are all in it together and are ready for a brighter, more prosperous, better 2022 filled full of celebrations, high-fives, hugs and celebrations.
All student-athletes who stepped up to play sports in 2021 deserve congratulations.
We are grateful for your contributions!
You made a difference!