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La Pine girl’s soccer team kicks off return of Central Oregon prep sports

(Update: Adding video, player, athletic director comments)

'It's here -- it's as simple as that'

LA PINE, Ore. (KTVZ) – High school sports are back in Central Oregon.

The La Pine girls soccer team kicked off their season with a 1-0 loss to visiting Creswell Monday afternoon.

But it was the first game in nearly 500 days for the team, after the typical fall season was pushed back because of the pandemic.

"It's here. It's as simple as that," Lady Hawks coach Mark Trapp told NewsChannel 21 earlier Monday.

In all, it had been 353 days since the last high school sports action for Central Oregon.

"It's been awhile. I honestly didn't think we'd get a season," La Pine senior Hayleigh Michael said.

Things will be a little different for Michael and her teammates. For starters, Trapp is in his debut season as head coach. And he has his own obstacles, coaching in a pandemic.

“It's been a challenge, because sometimes you have to speak a little louder, because the mask is going to muffle what you're trying to say," he said.

Those masks will stay on all the players, too, and there aren't any fans in the stands.

"It's going to be weird, looking over there and not seeing people cheering us on," Michael said before the contest.

Because of the ban on spectators, all of the Hawks games will be livestreamed this year.

But the only place to do that is at the football stadium, so the soccer teams will play their games there this season.

"It's just the way it is this year," La Pine High Athletic Director Aaron Flack said.

Flack said he heard from a few disappointed parents about not being able to cheer for the players in person, but the livestream will be a good alternative.

"They can hear the coaches talking on the field,” Flack said. “So they're going to be able to hear some of the action as well."

And the players are thrilled to be back in action, playing in the football stadium for a change.

"The emotions that first 10-15 minutes, of looking up and being out here on this field -- it’s going to be quite something for them," Trapp said.

They’ll have four more games at home to get used to it.

Article Topic Follows: Sports

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Jack Hirsh

Jack Hirsh is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jack here.


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