H-Town Sports Check- In

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Isabella Carlin, Reporter

After the life altering Coronavirus hit the United States in early March, professional sporting leagues instantly halted all sporting events until further notice. This included all travel, practices, and games. Sport fans and athletes alike were with major disappointments and without any closure for the season they had worked so hard on. The professional sporting leagues knew that the country was in much need of the distraction of their favorite sports, so they began to draft plans for athletes to return. The majority of these plans have been executed since early July, and many sports teams are back and working harder than ever, including many Houston favorites. Here are the current updates regarding our hometown teams: 

 

Houston Astros-

After falling one game short of a World Series title last season, the Astros were looking to come into the 2020 season as fierce competition. However, the offseason market played a major toll on the team including the losses of star pitcher Gerrit Cole and many of our stable relievers. The announcement during the offseason that the Astros cheated during the 2017 and 2018 seasons also played a large impact on the team’s mentality coming into the season. Once the season began on July 23rd, the team began to fall into a terrible pattern of losing games in extra innings and not being able to compete against other teams’ strong offenses. The season ending injuries of Justin Verlander and Yordan Alvarez also played a factor on the team’s mediocre performance. However, with the help of many rookies and veteran pitcher Zach Grienke, the Astros are currently only 3.5 games behind the Oakland Athletics in the AL West division. 

 

Houston Rockets- 

The NBA season was suspended in March, just when playoffs were on the brink of beginning. NBA officials realized the importance of the playoffs for the basketball community and created a plan where NBA players would live in a ‘bubble’ in Disney Wide World of Sports to finish the season without disruptions from Covid. The Houston Rockets entered Orlando with a 40-24 record and a hope to clinch the Western Conference title for the first time since 1995. They are off to a great start after James Harden and Russell Westbrook led the team to 2 consecutive playoff victories this past week. The team is looking to advance to Round 2 this week.

 

Houston Texans- 

The Texans will kick off their season with an opener against the Kansas City Chiefs on September 10th. No fans will be allowed to attend home games in Houston until Covid-19 cases decrease. The first 4 weeks will bring challenges as they look to face respectable teams including the Steelers and Vikings, and adapt to losing veteran wide receiver, DeAndre Hopkins. However, the leadership of Deshaun Watson and JJ Watt should be able to balance the loss and guide the team to the playoffs. The Texans are currently practicing in training camp and preparing for their first game on September 10th.