By Rachel Wulff

MODESTO (CBS13) – Hundreds of Modesto students were tested for COVID on Monday so they could return to the playing field.

“I feel like I’m distracted,” said Marissa Magana, who endured distance learning for more than a year.  She is happy to be headed back to class at Enochs High School.

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“Math was the hardest for me. I have been getting lower grades from when I was going to school,” she said.

This senior is also ready to see her teammates again. She is on the wrestling and volleyball teams.

“I miss yelling at people in a good way. Like cheering, being, “Yeah, you go! Yes, you can make it! Do whatever it takes!”

I just miss that and the coaches inspiring me to do better,” she said.

She was one of several hundred student-athletes and cheerleaders who returned from spring break and lined up to get their free COVID test before school. A negative test is required to play.

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The district partnered with 1Health to administer the test.

“It’s a 24 hour turnaround time. We do have rapid options, but this is an ‘RT PCR test’, which is a 24-hour turnaround time or less,” a spokesperson said.

Every Monday, the tests will be offered at the seven Modesto high schools. The parents we spoke to were supportive yet frustrated at the same time.

“They’ve been waiting for a while so they need to be out there with other kids,” said parent Karen Magana.

“It just makes what’s already abnormal. So much less normal. I don’t think it’s necessary to put the kids through it,” said parent Keri Gustafson.

Student-athletes like Wyatt Williams who are seeking scholarships see it as the only way to salvage a season.

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“For me, wrestling is like my heart — everything — and it just got pushed back…until now,” he said. “I think this is the last opportunity we have and we have to make the most out of it.”