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.
Murray County High School senior Osvaldo Alonzo has already achieved a childhood dream.
The soccer team’s goalkeeper just hopes it hasn’t come to an unceremonious end.
“I’ve been playing soccer since I was a kid,” Alonzo said. “When I was in elementary, I would always go to the stadium at Murray County High School and see the older players play. I always told myself that I wanted to play and represent Murray County.”
Alonzo does just that, with some encouragement from one of those players he grew up watching on that same field: former Murray County midfielder, Eric Soto, who graduated from the school in 2016.
“He was my neighbor, and he was the one that pushed me to play the sport,” Alonzo said.
Amid the outbreak of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), Alonzo’s senior season is in limbo. High school athletics are on hold in Georgia while schools are shut down through at least April 24. Alonzo, and countless other senior athletes throughout the state and country, are biding their time, hoping to get to see the field again.
“It’s been really painful, not knowing if you’ll get to play anymore,” Alonzo said. You just never expected it. We found out during one of our games, and we were just baffled about it. Coach said that we might have just played our last game, and it hit us hard.”
Question: What are you up to while school is out?
Answer: I’m trying to stay in shape, so I do some running and try to work out, just in case the season does come back.
Q: Do you like staying at home, or would you rather be in school?
A: It’s enjoyable to be able to wake up late, but, especially knowing that this is my senior year, my last year of high school, I’d rather be at school and enjoying these last few months with my friends before we graduate. Sometimes you go in different paths after you graduate, so I’d rather enjoy the moment.
Q: What has been your favorite moment of your high school sports career so far?
A: My junior year, we beat Calhoun. That’s something that the school hasn’t done since 2013. That just felt like we accomplished something as a team. We just grew, and we got better every year. When we played Calhoun my freshman year, we got beat 9-0, and I was just devastated. I told myself that I’m going to better myself and try to help the team improve from that, because that was just the worst. We came from a long way to accomplish that.
Q: What are your plans for after graduation?
A: I’m trying to play college soccer. I’ve got some offers, but I haven’t decided exactly where I want to go. What I want my major to be is international business. One of my teachers, Ms. Townsend, she inspired me to be a business major. She taught me a lot during her last two years of class, and I really enjoy it as well.
Q: What is your favorite memory from high school outside of sports?
A: We have a spring fling every May. There are activities outside that we do at school. Every single person in the grade would go out to hang out, and I would get to see my friends and play games.
Q: Who is one person you look up to?
A: It would be my mom. She is always here for me, she always listens to the problems that I have, and she always motivates me to do the things I like. Every time I go play soccer, she’s always there to give me the good luck I need.
Q: Who is your favorite athlete?
A: That would have to be an Italian goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon. He’s been playing professional soccer as a goalie for a long time. At the moment, I think he’s 42, and he’s still playing at the highest professional level.
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: The Pelé movie (“Pelé: Birth of a Legend”). It shows how Pelé started as a kid, where he was really poor trying to help his family. He told his father that he would represent the Brazil national team, and he ended up playing. It’s just an amazing story, with how he goes from a kid who wants to play soccer to being a legend of his own country.
Q: What’s your favorite app on your smartphone?
A: It would have to be Snapchat. Since right now we are practicing social distancing, I try to stay in communication with my friends.