Editor’s note: With social distancing guidelines firmly established, Sports Editor Daniel Mayes is conducting interviews with area athletes from the safety of a secluded corner of his home office. Quarantine Chronicles is a Q&A series with local sports standouts about their daily lives during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Coahulla Creek High School’s Ema Turner was in the midst of a very busy spring sports season in her junior year.
Then, suddenly, it stopped.
With the outbreak of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), high school sports across the state shut down in mid-March, the busiest part of always-busy years for Turner.
Turner started out the school year in volleyball season as an outside hitter, went straight into basketball as a point guard, then straight into a spring season that saw her double up running track and playing a variety of positions on the soccer field for the Lady Colts.
“Track was supposed to be a really good year for me,” said Turner, who competes in triple jump, 400-meter and 300-meter hurdle events for the track team. “I was winning a lot, and I was starting to hear from college coaches. Our track season got suspended, and that put everything on pause.”
A busy season of preparing and practicing was replaced with a home-bound waiting game.
“I was really busy and involved with practice and workouts, and then everything kind of stopped,” Turner said.
Turner spoke with the Daily Citizen-News about her life since the outbreak forced the cancellation of the remainder of the high school sports year.
Question: What are you up to while learning from home?
Answer: I’ve just kind of stayed at home. I’ve painted a lot. My travel basketball team is doing Zoom (video conferencing) workouts. We’re also going to Atlanta and social distancing and running on a track with a mask on.
Q: Do you like staying at home, or would you rather be in school?
A: I personally like school a lot, and I like seeing my friends and being around everybody. Learning from home is harder for me, because you have to watch videos and do your work, and you don’t know if you’re doing it right.
Q: What are your plans for after high school?
A: I want to go to college for basketball. My travel team is trying to reach out and get me in touch with college coaches. I’m not completely sure yet, but I want to go for criminology.
Q: What has been your favorite moment of your high school sports career?
A: My freshman year, I played varsity basketball, and we made it to state for the first time ever. That was really cool. Now, we’ve gotten better, and we’ve made it to state every year since. It’s been cool to see the program get better.
Q: Do you have any goals for your senior year?
A: In volleyball, I want to get into the region tournament and make it pretty far. That’s something that I’ve never done. In basketball, we came so close to winning the region championship my sophomore year, and that’s definitely something I’d like to do, because we have eight seniors.
Q: What are you like outside of sports?
A: I like to hang out with my friends a lot. I’m a very social person. I also like to paint and draw a lot.
Q: Who is one person you look up to?
A: My basketball coach, Jody Bacchus. He’s always encouraging us, he’s always checking up on me, and he always tells us that he cares about us more than as a basketball player. It’s just great to have a coach that is so caring for the team.
Q: Who is your favorite athlete?
A: I don’t really follow sports that much, because I’m always so busy with working out, I don’t have a lot of time to chill.
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: I love scary movies, so I like any scary movie there is. I don’t have a favorite one.
Q:What’s your favorite app on your smartphone?
A: Snapchat, definitely. That’s how I talk to all of my friends.