May 27, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

CRISIS CHANGED OUR LIVES: Cypress coach Derek Mitchell looks at what’s important

Cypress boys basketball coach Derek Mitchell (left) with his team after it won the Empire League title. (Photo courtesy Cypress basketball)

(Second in a series)

During this challenging time, we’re asking sports personalities in Orange County how they are adjusting to life since the coronovirus pandemic began.

In our next article, Cypress High boys basketball Coach Derek Mitchell shares his thoughts:

“It has been a time of regrouping and getting back to the basics for me.  I finally have the time needed to do chores around the house and maintain them every week. Typically those things would always be put off because of basketball.  I also get to spend more time with my family and my new family; I got engaged last weekend.

“I think everyone has been able to look at what they thought was important or valuable to in their life and have been able to make changes where they can find improvements.  For me, it is our players and staff that I really miss most during this time. We have had group chats to help us prepare for the upcoming season, but it’s nothing like going to the office and working collaboratively as staff on the whiteboard to develop the best ideas/scenarios for our program. 

“We have had to postpone our end of the season banquet where we celebrate all players in the program and their accomplishments.  Luckily, Coach T (varsity assistant Curtis Takimoto) has been able to continue our strength and conditioning online with our returning players.  Getting up shots for our players has been an issue unless they have their own personal hoop at the house.”

Mitchell also shared his thoughts about the future.

I am optimistic that we will be able to have some sort of winter sports unless there is another peak or outbreak of Covid during the fall/winter.  I am really excited for the upcoming season as we have a schedule that will be extremely competitive and challenging.  We return 10 players, and a lot of them earned valuable minutes last season.  Hopefully our learning curve will not be as difficult as it was last season in the beginning when we started three to four. 

“As for summer season, it doesn’t look good right now.  I have been asking our AD’s for any information on what they think might be the ‘new normal,’ but they have yet to hear anything new to share with us. 

“For now, I wish everyone good health and to stay safe.”

-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com