LA Daily News

Valencia baseball seniors navigating quarantine during COVID-19

Valencia senior baseball players are trying to stay in shape the best they can while under quarantine.

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The stay-at-home order while enduring the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing high school student-athletes to create new routines. Though it feels like days are meshing together, Valencia High baseball seniors Grant Weiss, Brock Kleszcz and Mitchell Torres are doing their best to make due with what’s available.

All admit to waking up later than they would during regular school weeks – which is a plus for any teenager. But all also admitted that trying to stay in baseball shape is challenging while in quarantine.

“I wake up around 9 a.m., workout and then swim in the pool to get some kind of cardio in,” Kleszcz, a UC San Diego commit said. “I don’t have access to a (hitting) cage, school is closed. Everything is off the tee into a net. I eat, then play video games and relax the rest of the day. It’s like that everyday.”

Weiss, an LMU signee, has had to rely on the help of his father for practice.

“My dad will toss to me (for batting practice), he’ll throw with me, too. It’s tough, but it’s doable,” said Weiss.

Torres, the only pitcher of the three, has more available to him under quarantine. He’s got a private gym he can access and still works with private coaches when he can. However, the loss of an additional 20-plus games this season is making his recruitment mor

e difficult.

“I know there were coaches coming to watch my games. It’s missed opportunity,” Torres, an unsigned senior said. “But I know I’m not the only player dealing with it.”

Many unsigned seniors like Torres are left to send college coaches video clips of themselves throwing in the backyard or taking batting practice off a tee at a local park.

Valencia played just 11 games before the coronavirus forced all high school spring sports to be canceled.

“It was tough to know (the district) canceled our baseball season before they closed schools,” Kleszcz said. “We go to school for baseball. I know that’s not how it’s supposed to be, but baseball made school more fun.”

The Hart Unified School District suspended spring sports until the end of April, which ended the regular season for all Foothill League schools. The CIF playoffs were scheduled to begin the first week of May.

“(The team) was in shock when we heard the news about our season being canceled,” said Weiss.

Torres added: “This group of seniors was really special. We never got a chance to show what we could do.”