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Season Interrupted: Alex Rubel punches out batters, punches out stories

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

Name: Alex Rubel

School: Los Angeles Shalhevet

Sport: Baseball, pitcher

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Key stats: Winner of the Allan Malamud Memorial Scholarship by the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame

Fall plans: Will attend UCLA

On the baseball season being canceled:
“It was a heartbreaking end to our season. We were really looking forward to our season campaign, especially because we were set to go to Boston for a tournament.”

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How his sports experience informs his journalism:
“Being able to play sports gives me tremendous insights how to cover the sport. Usually when I think of an angle to write a story, I’ll put myself in the player’s shoes. That’s a tremendous advantage to have as a journalist. It helps to understand what the athlete might be thinking.”

On life without sports:
“Sports gives me a routine. Every week, sometimes every day, you always could be practicing and improving your skill set. Now we don’t have that luxury, don’t have sports on the TV. Our quality of life lags.”

Fountain Valley’s Jake Brooks threw 25 consecutive shutout innings before the season ended prematurely because of the coronavirus.

How the sports stoppage changed him:
“It’s made me more resilient. You never know what obstacles are going to be thrown into your way. I don’t think anyone would have expected this to have have happened. But athletes have to rebound. You have to meet the moment and be prepared for the future.”

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On the lessons he’s learned:
“This year was really a curveball. No one would have expected an event like this to occur. The message is pretty clear as we become adults we become responsible for ourselves and the world.”

Video interviews of each athlete can be found at latimes.com/sports/highschool.


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