BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — For some athletes, sports can be used as a distraction, but they haven't been an option during the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving sports on pause. Garces junior defensive end and thrower Zach Buckey has found a silver lining in a situation that sidelined him from the things he loves to do.
"It’s insane, I played sports my whole life like, far as I can remember, so I've never really had like, just nothing to do," Buckey said reflecting on this new world without sports.
Zach completed his junior football season and was looking forward to having a standout throwing year this spring, but last Friday that dream came to an end with the CIF officially canceling the spring sports season.
"If I'm not happy, I'm sad, I'm not sad, I'm happy because it's just been kind of like, you don't really know what's going on. This is a new time for all of us. So, just kind of rolling with each day," Buckey said.
While he waits to compete again, he still has a pretty nice distraction.
"I mean, I feel good. It's just it's kind of crazy," Buckey said.
Zach’s referring to the college offers he’s recently received. It started with Dartmouth, and more Ivy League and D-1 schools later, he's beginning April with more than ten offers and counting.
"I've gotten nine offers in the past eight days. So, it's been kind of just like, what the heck happened?," Buckey said. "It's a big decision to make and I'm nowhere close to making it. It's gonna have to be somewhere where it has great academics. It's gotta have a great football team, great track team, possibly. And, I just want to feel at home there."
Over a month ago Zach was focused on making big throws, now it's colleges throwing opportunities his way. And if all of this has taught him one thing, it’s to not take anything for granted.
"I'm telling you the first of all game I'm gonna go out there and play like and never gonna play another game before because you don't know. I mean I literally threw the week before they canceled the season. So, I think just go out there and treat every practice like it's your last," Buckey said.
Until he'll continue his virtual training with his football team and coach Paul Golla.
"It's a lot of Pilates," Zach said with a smile.