Coaches Share Updates Around La Salle’s Swim and Basketball Teams


Fia Cooper

La Salle has implemented precautions to allow students, spectators, and athletes to continue practicing and competing for the remainder of their seasons.

Mariah Moore, Staff Reporter

Basketball has taken a hard hit these past few weeks because of the new Omicron variant, but swimming hasn’t had the same struggles. Prior to Christmas break, sports were smooth sailing with very few cases according to Mr. Chris George the Athletic Director, but since then things have changed. With state competitions right around the corner, coaches and students are trying to get back into the groove. 

Mr. George said the boys basketball team had “great momentum going into Christmas break” until the unexpected Omicron variant took away the stride. 

Currently, the varsity boys basketball team has an overall record of 7-5. However, this number may be affected by the fact that the team had six games canceled because opposing schools are backing out due to COVID-19 restrictions. They also had a three-game tournament scheduled during Christmas break, but that was canceled — this time not due to COVID-19, but from inclement weather. 

The varsity girls basketball team currently has an overall record of 7-4. A few of the girls’ games were canceled.

According to Mr. George, it has been difficult getting back into the rhythm of sports with the frequent cancellations of games. He also said that they are most likely going to start playing more than 2 games a week to catch up from lost time. This is going to be difficult because athletes need to be “physically fit”: sleeping well, eating well, and taking care of their bodies, Mr. George said. 

Omicron has impacted sports tremendously because of its ability to spread quickly. Mr. George said it “hit like a ton of bricks.” 

“It was hard to kinda like know how to respond to it,” Mr. George said. 

Mr. George said that the most difficult part was contact tracing after the sudden spike. They were using the same contact tracing methods as usual, but it was almost impossible to tell where the transmission was occurring, Mr. George said. 

During Christmas break after realizing how infectious COVID was they canceled practices and are trying to get back in a routine after returning from Christmas break. 

On the other hand, the La Salle swim team has hardly been impacted by the virus. Mr. George said, “their energy is great, their participation is high [and] they have a lot of confidence.”

Although the swim teams haven’t had many conference meets, the head swim coach Mr. Paul Collins said the girls team is “annihilating everybody.”

“People are getting better and they’re seeing tangible improvements in their stroke techniques and their times,” Mr. Collins said. 

The swim team hasn’t had many COVID-19 obstacles or requirements, but after Christmas break, no fans were allowed to attend in person. To allow spectators to still be able to watch, they live-streamed the event. 

Districts for the swim teams start on Feb. 11-12 and state competitions are Feb. 18-19. Mr. Collins said he thinks they will make it to districts because of the “strength of our team.”

The girls and boys basketball teams have the first round of conference competitions on March 4-5, and then state finals on March 9-10. To qualify for the state tournament they have to be fourth in the conference. 

“The gold standard that everybody tries to reach is to make it to Corvallis,” Mr. George said, because it means you qualified and won your first-round game. Coaches Share Updates Around La Salle’s Swim and Basketball Teams

Mr. George said that the teams have potential, but that “only time will tell.”