Students athletes all over LAUSD are holding their breath right now waiting for a verdict on the upcoming season. With conditioning starting soon we sat down with Hollywood’s new head coach Leighton Milton to gauge his thoughts on topics such as coronavirus, players injuries, and spectators for this season.
Milton’s journey to becoming the head coach was a long one. Principal Dr.Mary Reid asked Milton multiple times to head the football team before he finally accepted. “I wasn’t really interested in it because my life was so stressful as a teacher,” said Milton.
However, transitioning into the team wasn’t as difficult as most new coaches have it. Not only did Reid promise him two free periods in order to adjust to the responsibility, but he was also aided by his experience helping out the football team in the past.
“When I first got to Hollywood three years ago I was just helping out with the football team and that’s how, I guess, a lot of people got to know me,” said Milton.
Milton previously coached at Santee High School, Blair High School, Lincoln High School, Huntington Park, and South Gate. This is his first time as head coach.
On the topic of coronavirus, Milton debunked and confirmed rumors that are circulating. The coach did confirm there would be minimal player contact and social distancing during practice. Among his many fears are the injuries players may sustain from playing this season.“You’re gonna see some serious injuries and that’s what I’m really concerned about,” said Milton.
One of the biggest reasons people play sports, and perhaps the part that may be most affected by the virus is scouting. Milton is not oblivious to the challenge that has been presented here either. “I feel bad for seniors right now because a lot of kids, you know who can’t afford college, this might be their only way out to go to college is play well in a sport and maybe get noticed and get a scholarship to a college.”
Milton’s biggest hope is for junior colleges to expand rosters so that players can be drafted to four-year colleges and get to live out their dream.
There is no doubt that Milton is prepared to face any obstacle.“I’m prepared either way if they tell us there’s no football I will follow the rules, you know I’m at risk because of my age and my health concerns, so I am worried for myself and coaches and the parents of some of the players.”
As far as words for any students wondering about spectators Milton says, “The way to destroy this virus is to follow the science and follow the rules and if we have to have a very limited crowd and more people need to space further than six feet then that’s what we should do.”
One of his goals is to have players in the field but also respecting safety regulations set in place by the California Interscholastic Federation and school administration. As of now sports packets are being turned in by student athletes and the administration is waiting to get the ‘OK’ to start in school practice.