Football, Sport News, Volleyball | July 31, 2020

Behind the Mask

Canyon Lake’s Athletic Trainer, Israel Pena goes incognito in starting athletic events during a pandemic season.


Canyon Lake’s Training department is working hard keeping up with COVID-19 changes to keep student athletes and coaches safe as the pandemic continues.

              Let’s Go Hawks!!

The ReSporter caught up with Athletic Trainer Israel Pena to get an idea of what is in store for the Canyon Lake team as the season rounds the corner in August.

“(Our role is) Evolving into infection control and following recommendations they will have and change as we go,” Pena said about the practices in place. “There are a lot of unknowns with guidelines and we will be trying to implement those to fit our needs when they are announced.”

Several entities at the school, district and state level are involved in recommending health practices for the Hawk athletic facilities this Fall. To say the least, the training department has been working overtime, led by Pena and Paul Steinhoff, to decipher all the rules.

“(We’re) Trying to keep everything clean and be done times 10,” Pena said looking spent after a day of strength and conditioning and keeping up with the sanitizing regimen. “We always clean, but now the importance of doing that has been heightened. It is low now, but it will not be when school starts.”

The ReSporter struggled in just finding a way to ask questions with so much information in cyber space and anything said today could change in the next 24 hours.

“We will have obstacles to work through but it is better than the alternative,” Pena said knowing the alternative would be a shutdown like in the spring leaving several Hawk teams without closure in March.

               Let’s Go Hawks!!

“We have ongoing questions and we are all trying to figure out our new roles,” Pena said. “We (district trainers) are all sharing info and we will get amplified from our ISD because we start earlier.”

Canyon Lake and Davenport High Schools are in the district’s spotlight because of their August start date. Other CISD schools are 5A-6A schools, which means they start later due to their size. The district will be using CLHS and DHS as the forerunners of what and what not to do where COVID-19 sanitizing is concerned.

On how different this Summer has been compared to his previous years, Pena said, “It has certainly been interesting, but I really can’t describe it. We were in limbo for so many months, but I know we can get it done regardless of the starting dates.”

When mentioning how time consuming the cleaning has become, Pena wore a sly smile when he revealed his ace in the hole, “We have an electrostatic player disinfectant mister, thanks to our Canyon Lake Booster Club.”

What does this new-fangled apparatus do? “It will cut cleaning time down to 20-30 seconds from what usually takes 5 to 6 minutes and with a caddie we can get the dressing rooms down to 10-12 minutes,” Pena said excitedly.

A Google search found that, “Many companies use electrostatic misting systems to kill germs like the coronavirus. These handheld machines spray disinfectant directly on surfaces in the form of a mist. As the cleaning solution leaves the sprayer, it receives an elector charge, which results in immediate coverage of the surface below.”

Behind the mask, Pena can smile at the future with his space-age sprayer as he and Steinhoff work to keep kids safe this fall.

Thanks Coach Pena and hope you can get some rest as you certainly will be busy this school year!!

Go Hawks!!