Sign Up For Newsletter

Contribute to West Coast Preps

West Coast Preps is in its first year of covering high school sports in the Bay Area and is a free platform aimed at letting all of the remarkable stories regarding student-athletes be heard. This is a voluntary contribution to help us during our first year to continue taking pictures, videos at events and allow us to create more quality content in the future. Contributions to West Coast Preps are greatly appreciated. Thank you!

*Please understand that your donation is not eligible for a tax deduction on the federal or state levels.*

#LetUsPlay Q&A with Amador Valley Players: Part 1

West Coast Preps spoke with four Amador Valley players about the #LetUsPlay campaign and their involvement in returning to the field of play in a safe manner.

Those who joined the conversation included Amador Valley junior tight end/linebacker/running back Kai Burgermeister, senior quarterback and infielder Brendan O’Sullivan, senior linebacker/fullback Spencer Oxe (Puget Sound commit) and senior tight end/linebacker Spencer Scranton (offers from Lewis & Clark and Whittier).

Parts No. 2 and 3 of this conversation will be posted on the website on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Introduce yourselves – name, position, class and school

Spencer Oxe: My name is Spencer Oxe. I play linebacker and fullback at Amador Valley high School in Pleasanton, California. And I’m a senior.”

Brendan O’Sullivan: “My name is Brendan O’Sullivan. I’m the quarterback at Amador Valley High School, and I’m a senior.” 

Spencer Scranton: “My name is Spencer Scranton. I’m also a senior at Amador. I play tight end and linebacker.”

Kai Burgermeister: “I’m Kai. I play linebacker, tight end and running back at Amador, and I’m a junior.”

Discuss more about this Let Us Play campaign and what your message is?

Brendan O’Sullivan: “Coach Jones sent us this Twitter video of some kid up in Washington. I don’t remember his name, but he had posted a video talking to to his governor, and so coach Jones was like, ‘You know what? It would probably be a good idea to get this campaign going out here.’ And he had formed I think the West Coast Coaches Alliance or something, and they started forming that, so he’s like, ‘Get the message out as players and stuff.’ We all kind of just did a little post and kind of let it happen.”

Spencer Oxe: “We were kind of just trying to spread the message to everybody, not just our governor of the State of California. We want to play football and we want to play our fall sports, because a lot of other states have, and we feel we’re being left out, so we wanted to get our voices out there that we want to play because everybody else is getting to play and we feel like we’re getting cheated.”

Kai Burgermeister: “And also not even just football. Other sports – basketball, baseball, I know Brendan is a baseball player. Soccer, even other on campus activities, stuff like that. Just getting the kids back to the things they enjoy.”

Spencer Scranton: “Our message right now is that we want everybody who participates in extra curriculars or does anything to be able to enjoy what they like to do.”

What have other states shown you guys on how you can complete a season safely?

Spencer Oxe: “I’ve seen on TV I’ve seen on Friday nights you can see other teams play their high school games, and they’re on the sideline and they’re either spread out. There’s no fans. Everything seems to go fine. I haven’t heard any major cases of COVID breaking out with high school teams. It just really sucks to see on TV these teams get to play, and they’re going just fine, following guidelines and they get to play and they’re done already. We didn’t start.”

Brendan O’Sullivan: “I think like seeing some of the states, obviously it’s a little different there, but here in California and the Bay Area we have really done nothing. And for like the most part our cases have been low, so it’s been tough to see that. And then on the other end is we’re not in school, so they’re worried about community spread. It’s not really as likely because we’re not in school every day with people, so it’s like why not?”

Kai Burgermeister: “If you look at the numbers in California, if you obviously we have a lot of people here, but if you compare the numbers to our population we’re actually doing very well compared to pretty much any other state. And so I think it can be done safely, whether there needs to be schedule change, maybe less games, maybe only play in county games, but there’s definitely a way to get back and do it safely.” 

Spencer Scranton: “Yeah, and because we’re in California it makes it really hard. We have such a big population here. One of the main things though is we want to get back and we want to get back safely.”

How have you and your teammates collaborated on this, and maybe some people not from your school have been able to collaborate and talk about this?

Kai Burgermeister: “Well, for me at least with that video when I don’t know about you guys, but I made that video and that was like the biggest Twitter post I’ve ever made. I had people from like all across EBAL were retweeting it, liking it, even people at our rival school, Foothill. Everyone is here. We all want to get back. I think any kid that plays sports is really supportive of the cause, and I think that really helps our case.”

Spencer Oxe: “Yeah, and I think that we’re helping to spring something a little bit here because how I said that was my biggest tweet I ever got, like having 30-plus retweets and I feel like I’m seeing a lot more Let Us Play, even if it’s not a video or anything else, just like a lot of kids that are my age and maybe they’re even in Southern California and they’re like, ‘Hey, we should, this makes sense. Let Us Play.’ I feel like we’re kind of helping springboard something out, and people are starting to realize, ‘Hey, this is dumb. We should be able to play.’”

Brendan O’Sullivan: “Yeah, like I didn’t even post a video. I just did like a note kind of thing, and that was my biggest Twitter post too. I had random people commenting on it and stuff. And it just shows that a lot of people are ready for us to get in sports, and sports are a big part of our community. It’s not just kids who are looking at our message. It’s adults and just members of society who want to see kids do extracurricular activities.”

Spencer Scranton: “I also posted a written message, and like Kai said we have some guys at the rival school at Foothill commenting on our stuff. One of the Foothill coaches wrote a little retweet for me, so I thought that was pretty cool.”

How important are sports, particularly on mental health?

Kai Burgermeister: “You can’t even state the importance that sports have for student-athletes on their mental health. For a lot of guys, football might be their only escape from a bad life at home or something like that, and a lot of guys see it as their path to college. This is a lot of guys only path to college. Without this, this is all they got, and it’s impossible to state how important sports are for student-athletes in California.”

Brendan O’Sullivan: “I look at sports and it’s like an escape from school. A lot of kids don’t like school, but if they’re motivated to be good in their sport, they’re going to be motivated in the classroom because they want to be able to stay on the field and help their teammates. It just helps them create that motivation, and that motivation will carry on to their life. There’s so many life lessons to be learned from sports.”

Spencer Oxe: “The mental health part. Even when we were being able to practice with online school, because I mean online school takes a toll on everybody, even teachers. I feel really burnt out at the end of the day, but being able to go to practice after having online school really helped me out because I felt like I had something to look forward to. Like, ‘Oh, I have to go to school on the computer, but at least I can go outside, go throw the ball around, go have fun at practice, go see my guys.’ But then once they canceled our work, now I’m going through online school. I go lay in bed. I feel like unmotivated to do anything right now, and I feel like I need a sport or football or something,”

Spencer Scranton: “For me, football keeps me busy. That’s probably the most productive thing in my life because when I have something to do, like if I have to go to football practice after school, then I know I have to be on top of my homework or it’s not getting done. It makes me think about my time differently, so I’m not wasting my time as much because now I know I got to do this and then I got to go to practice, and if I don’t have it done before practice we’re going to have a problem.”

Kai Burgermeister: “Just to add on to what Brennan said too about the motivation. Student-athletes pretty much anywhere in the country have been shown to have higher GPAs on average than non student-athletes, and I just think that says something about the role that sports has on a kid’s life.”

What have sports meant to you?

Spencer Scranton: “To me sports is a brotherhood. Sports is a family, so every single day when we’re not allowed to leave our house and the only thing we have is practice, it’s just so amazing coming to practice, seeing all the teammates and knowing that every single person on this field has my back on and off the field.”

Brendan O’Sullivan: “I think the foremost, for sure the foremost we all want to play sports as long as we can. If you look at that, it just shows what sports do for kids life. It’s going to propel us to college and just help us along our way and help us to learn what we need to do to be successful in life and everything we do.”

Spencer Oxe: “It’s just an escape. You could have whatever is going on in your life. It could be really tough. You could go through some hard times, not doing so well mentally or struggling in school or something, but if you get to go to practice after school or at the end of the day, it just makes you feel so much better about whatever is going on because you can just forget, you can go have a great time with your guys, with your brothers. You just hangout, have a great time playing your sport, the thing you love to do, and you just kind of forget about what’s wrong with your life. And honestly, most of the time it makes me feel a lot better about what’s going on.”

Kai Burgermeister: “I agree. Sports are everything, and some of probably the best times I’ve had at Amador are on the football field, moments on the football field. Any high school football player can tell you the feeling after a win, the bus ride home, long summer practice, everyone is tired, everyone has got to run, but we’re all doing it together. Like Spencer said, it’s a brotherhood. There’s nothing that can really replace that in someone’s life, and that’s why sports are so important for us.”

Leave a Comment