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Staying Strong: O’Dowd Athletes

Like student and professional athletes across the country, O’Dowd athletes have lost a vital part of their experience and community amid COVID-19. Athletics leaders and coaches have done incredible work to keep teammates connected with one another and strengthen their social bonds as well as their bodies during this unique period. Below are just a few examples of how O’Dowd athletes continue to show up for their teammates, how coaches show up for their players, and how Dragons have found ways to find strength and joy during this period.

Virtual Signing Ceremony and End of Year Athletics Celebration Senior athletes who recently signed for college athletics were honored in O’Dowd’s first ever virtual signing ceremony this April: Jaylen Anteneh for baseball at Columbia University, Anthony Clerici for baseball at Lewis & Clark College, Ben Huntington for lacrosse at College of Wooster, Jenna Kilty for basketball at Portland State University, and Kali Myers for basketball at San Francisco State University. In May we look forward to another first ever event: O’Dowd’s end of year athletics celebration. We look forward to honoring all spring athletes, and in particular seniors who had their last season of Dragon sports cut short this year. Watch the Virtual Signing Ceremony

Strength, Conditioning, Rehab and Recovery Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Jay Beito ‘92 has shared workouts in a program called BRIDGE and spent time in his virtual yoga class helping students learn posture and decompression breathing while working on the computer with video instruction by Dr. Eric Goodman and has provided coaches with other conditioning workouts available for athletes. Athletic trainers Joanne Kinyon and Kiah Sundermeir continue to reach out to athletes recovering from injuries or who were participating in regular routines and treatments prior to shelter-in-place. They are available for advice for student-athletes experiencing new injuries during this time. And they, along with Assistant Athletic Director Hillary Kigar, have created a series of training videos for student-athletes.

Teams Staying Connected O’Dowd coaches have identified creative ways to keep connected with players and help players stay connected as a team. Just a few examples: O’Dowd’s new football coach Dave Perry is using Hudl and Zoom platforms to educate students on game planning and design, and provide motivational quotes to keep spirits strong. Coaches are offering virtual workouts and providing workout resources for their athletes. Coaches are also hosting virtual events to help teams stay connected. Track team members, for example, have focused on the future, sharing with coaches what they are going to take away from this time to improve their overall performance and lives on and off the track. With unique passion for distance running, senior Julian Jensen ‘20 – who has run cross country all four years at O’Dowd and will attend Humboldt State University this fall – mapped a DIY marathon and ran it with a 8:18/mile pace from Oakland to the top of Mt. Diablo. Go Dragons!

Stronger Together As a school we look forward to the future when our teams, practices, tournaments, and competitions return and when families and fans once again gather to cheer on our Dragon community. In the meantime, Dragon athletics and athletes remain strong, and prepared to return stronger in both body and mind.


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