High School Sports

Season Interrupted: Cara Dunnigan has a shutdown epiphany


Throughout the spring, The Times will interview high school seniors whose athletic careers were cut short by the coronavirus outbreak.

Name: Cara Dunnigan

School: Verdugo Hills

Sport: Volleyball, softball


Key stats: All-City volleyball player helped the Dons win three straight East Valley League titles; pitcher for softball team

Fall plans: Will attend Los Angeles Mission College

On having to make tough choices:


“Not playing softball, I didn’t get a chance to be scouted. My original plan was to try out for CSUN, so that option was gone. The volleyball coach from Mission recruited me and I took that opportunity. I did not want to pay all that money just to be in my room doing schoolwork.”

On the cancellation of the season:

“My first reaction was I started crying. I couldn’t stop because of all the opportunities I wouldn’t have anymore.”

On life without sports:


“It’s weird because that was my life. I have a lot of free time to figure out what am I without sports. I like painting now. I do my own personal workouts now instead of being with a team.”

Aidan Elbettar, a 6-foot-8 track star, had kicked off the season with personal bests in the shot put and discus: ‘I still have four years to go at UCLA.’

On the lessons she’s learned:

“I think it made me realize who am I without sports. I’m so much more than sports. I used to always see myself as this athlete girl, nothing more. I figured out I can have more relationships with more friends.”


Where she sees herself in 10 years:

“I see myself being an athletic trainer.”

Video interviews of each athlete can be found at

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