By Monique Garcia
The pandemic has offered many lessons to our Long Beach community. In 2020, we were torn from our normalcy to a world of shutdowns and separation. In 2021, strict guidelines and the widespread availability of the vaccine made it possible for the slow return of many things we missed. Now, in 2022, life seems to be returning to normal with the help of masks, sanitizer, and vigilant health checks.
Long Beach has experienced many downs due to the pandemic. From school closures to online teaching, youths in Long Beach especially have had to live through the "greatest time of their lives" trapped in social bubbles.
This is why the Long Beach Wilson girls winning the Moore League Championship means so much. For what it symbolizes for our future as well as a thrilling win for an underdog team.
Earlier this month, the final match for the Moore League title had charged energy with both teams giving it their best. The Wilson Bruins were able to end the league play with a scoreless draw against Millikan Rams. After three years, Wilson was able to take the Moore League title back from Millikan.
Brian Irvin, Head Coach of the Long Beach Wilson High girls’ soccer team, recounts the game as “electric”. He attributes the win to the girls' hard work and motivation. After talking with him, it was obvious his new mentorship and experience greatly helped the Wilson team take the reign from Millikan. As a reminder, this is Coach Irvin’s first year as Head Coach for Wilson’s girl soccer team.
“It’s a huge opportunity and a massive goal to achieve in my first-year teaching to win Moore League,” said Irvin. “Now what’s going to be hard is maintaining the standard we set in the first year.”
I also had the opportunity to talk with Wilson’s star goalie, Olivia Herrera. She was able to give me more insight into what having the community show up to support meant for the team as well as what high school life during a pandemic is.
“It was interesting coming back to school after experiencing the different styles of learning,” explained Herrera. “We had to readjust to in-person learning but a bunch of teachers were really flexible.”
According to Herrera, Wilson High is extremely diverse in terms of activities and people. Being forced to experience pandemic struggles collectively seems to have created a unified community in the school culture that has students from all activities, teams, and ages coming together.
“I think it’s really awesome how a variety of people can get along just because of one pandemic,” stated Herrera. “Because of COVID, we got to explore and meet new people. Long Beach has a great community, so a bunch of other schools even came to support us.”
As many of us can attest to, Long Beach is a great community made of interesting individuals. While this pandemic has taken much away, it has also changed the way people seek connections. Many are used to experiencing separation and distancing due to the pandemic, it is nice to see how the Long Beach community has overcome in certain cases.