After delays, athletics programs gaining traction
On Sept. 18, the San Quentin Prison exercise yard was shining bright with the sun and its resident athletes at 10 a.m. Games were happening in just about every corner and on every field of play. There was a hardcore scrimmage game of basketball underway and the guys were balling hard. That game ended in a close score with one team winning 62-60.
On the other end of the yard, since there was no baseball game going on the baseball field, a competitive game of flag football was going down. The guys were making plays and scores while dirt from the field mushroomed in the air, giving the guys nostril fills. Nevertheless that did not stop the game, but it may have given one team the edge to beat out the other.
On the tennis court there were balls flying across the net and guys whacking the balls with their rackets. Tennis shoes screeched and beads of sweat dripped down the faces of the tired residents.
The running club participants were out on the track gearing up for the next running competition. They stretched and pulled and ran the track with focus.
At the gym’s back wall a handball enthusiast was slapping the tiny rubber ball against the wall, and you could hear the loud smack echoing down the alley when it hit.
So far, scrimmage games have been going on and coaches have been improvising and coming up with ways to keep the love of the game marching on.
The basketball intramural league has started its playoff sessions after ending the regular season in July, and seven teams have advanced thus far. The SQ Kings and Warriors have not been able to start up a season this year due to the pandemic. However, the coaches put together a couple good scrimmages with the players that were very exciting for the residents.
The football intramural league has started; the SQ All-Madden football coaches put together battles against other made-up teams just to get some football going. And it has a group of teams that are ready to rumble.
After taking some tough lockdowns and delays, the softball scrimmages have gotten underway and batters are ready to swing for the education building again. The SQ A’s top pitchers have been throwing out their own teammates with fastball strikes, keeping baseball thriving at the Q.
Although the prison is not allowing outside teams to enter the prison yet, these prison athletes and coaches have not allowed any hurdles to dissuade them from the love of the sport. Talk about perseverance.