Gonzales cross country coach Margie Daniels (right) honors senior athletes, including runner Ignacio Valdez, after their shortened season. Daniels used her Covid-19 cohorts plan during the team’s conditioning and training time. (Contributed Photo)

GONZALES — Gonzales High School physical education teacher and coach Margie Daniels will be organizing sports for the Spartans, as outdoor sports have been given the green light to begin conditioning.

Daniels is stepping in for Athletic Director Grant Martin, who is on medical leave. She served as co-athletic director two years ago and has been a cross country coach at Gonzales since 2014 and the head track and field coach since the 2016 season.

Daniels’ cross country team was the first team to begin conditioning this year at Gonzales.

“My goals are to work with the district and coaches so that our kids can return to play safely,” Daniels said. “Our kids have been waiting for this, and I have complete faith in our teams that they will always follow safety guidelines. It’s been a very difficult year, especially for our seniors, and my hope is that they will get a season to remember. The coaches and athletes have been very receptive to what is expected. The main focus, as it has always been, is about the kids and their safety.”

Daniels had her cohorts plan for cross country ready since October and used that plan when the team was allowed to condition in February. The Spartans team prepared for meets, although they had just one competition at Seaside two weeks ago.

“Sports that are conditioning are baseball, softball, soccer, tennis, wrestling and track,” Daniels said. “Tennis and softball have competitions lined up, and we are currently working on baseball, soccer and track schedules. Wrestling is still not cleared to compete, but they are allowed to condition outdoors.”

She said the schedules are flexible in case health guidelines change.

“We can proceed to move forward as cases continue to drop or be ready to halt if not,” she added. “I just want our athletes and coaches to be prepared either way. I would not say they are ruled out because at this point anything can happen. We just have to see what the state and county says about it.”

Spartan senior runner Ashley Ochoa (left) receives flowers from Coach Margie Daniels after competing in her last high school cross country meet. Ochoa was a three-time All-league runner in cross country and also an All-League player in soccer. (Contributed Photo)
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