By Velena Jones

WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Youth athletes are running at the chance to gear up for game time after months of sitting on the sidelines.

“I’m absolutely stoked, sports is my life, these are my people, this is my community. I’ve missed them,” said track and cross country runner Billy Oranda.

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From the turf to the track, River City High School is welcoming back outdoor sports with new clearance from the state. It’s a sense of normalcy athletes have been waiting for.

“It’s exhilarating to be out there and to just be doing what you love every day. It’s amazing there is no better feeling in the world,” Oranda explained

Reunited with their teams’ coaches including cross country and track head coach, Kristie Dornan, who isn’t holding back any emotion

“When I got the call that we were able to come back and start practicing, I didn’t let them finish. I was like ‘What, we are going to come back? I’m there!’,” explained Dornan “It’s been a year, but that is okay. We are back where we should be.”

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While some sports are just practicing for now, the schools’ tennis team is already bringing home W’s, winning their first two matches Friday.

“It was really hard on my mental health, but now getting back seeing my friends every day, getting to play tennis, and let out some stress from being at home all day and cooped up in my room, it’s really nice,” explained Tennis player, Kalianani Quenga.

Required masks are a new addition to players’ uniforms with 27 counties including Yolo allowed to start competing with certain precautions.

“Each coach has a check-in system that they do, where we check the kids’ temperature, run them through a COVID symptom check and we track that on a Google sheet,” said Athletic Director, Matthew Powell.

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Washington Unified School District says spectators are still not allowed to watch high school sports. Parents with players younger than high school are allowed to attend in a limited capacity.

Velena Jones