A week after pipeline disaster, Capuchino athletics back on track

It was a terrible night.

As many Capuchino High School student-athletes were either participating in or returning from games and other events on Sept. 9, a huge fireball was destroying a nearby neighborhood. The football team was at a team dinner. The cross-country team was driving home from a meet and they could see the smoke and the flames.

Many would not spend the night in their own homes that night. One cross-country runner would spend the night and part of the next day in her uniform, as she could not return home. They would all wait together, hoping their homes were safe and their friends and their friends’ families were alive and well.

Then came Friday morning, and the full impact of the devastation was there for all to see. That night’s football game against South San Francisco was called off and the students joined the rest of the community in helping wherever they could.

A week later, the healing continues in the community and at the school. With Monday came the return to school and the return to a normal routine.

“Everyone was waiting for Monday to focus on something other than sadness and loss,” Capuchino football coach Jordan Seiden said. “It was weighing on their minds. But the beautiful thing about the kids is they are resilient.”

As far as the student-athletes at Capuchino, the worst loss was suffered by a member of the tennis team whose house was one of those destroyed by the blast and fire. According to Capuchino athletic director and cross-country coach Mike Trimble the team has been working on replacing the player’s tennis equipment, all of which was lost with the home.

But aside from that loss, and that a few players who were among many residents unable to return home for sometime over the weekend, the Capuchino athletes escaped most of the fireball’s destruction intact.

“We consider ourselves very lucky [it wasn’t worse],” Trimble said.

Many of the athletes volunteered to help wherever they could, including at a free spaghetti feed for those affected, held at the school.

“I am very proud of the kids,” Trimble said. “They stepped in and helped without a moment’s hesitation.”

While no final decision has been made regarding the postponed game against South San Francisco, both Trimble and Seiden doubt it will be played later. Which brings Capuchino’s full attention to this Saturday’s home game against Christopher of Gilroy at 2 p.m.

“It’s a big opportunity for our community, our schools and our kids to get a good vibe again,” Seiden said.

It will be another step on the road back to normalcy for everyone involved. And while plans have not been finalized, there will be a pregame event on Saturday to mark the events of the past week. They will remember those lost and those still recovering from the tragedy, and they will give thanks for those who survived.

There will be cheers on Saturday. There will be tears on Saturday.

Most of all, it will be a return to normalcy for Capuchino.

There will be cheers on Saturday. There will be tears on Saturday.

Most of all, it will be a return to normalcy for Capuchino.

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