(Update: adding comments on videos, players and sporting directors)

“It’s here – it’s that simple.”

LA PINE, Ore. (KTVZ) – College sports are back in central Oregon.

The La Pine girls’ soccer team started their season with a 1-0 loss to Creswell on Monday afternoon.

But it was the first game for the team in nearly 500 days after the typical fall season was postponed because of the pandemic.

“It’s here. It’s that simple,” Lady Hawks trainer Mark Trapp told NewsChannel 21 on Monday.

A total of 353 days had passed since the last high school sports action for Central Oregon.

“It’s been a while. I honestly didn’t think we’d get a season,” said Hayleigh Michael, senior at La Pine.

It will be a little different for Michael and her teammates. For starters, Trapp is in his debut season as head coach. And he has his own obstacles, he’s training in a pandemic.

“It was a challenge because sometimes you have to speak a little louder because the mask muffles what you are trying to say,” he said.

These masks remain with all players and there are no fans in the stands.

“It’ll be weird looking over there and not seeing people cheering us on,” Michael said before the competition.

Due to the ban on viewers, all Hawks games will be broadcast live this year.

The only place this is possible is the football stadium, so this season the football teams will play their games there.

“That’s the way it is this year,” said Aaron Flack, La Pine high athletic director.

Flack said he heard from some disappointed parents that they couldn’t cheer the players on in person, but the livestream is a good alternative.

“You can hear the coaches talking on the field,” said Flack. “So you will also be able to hear something about the action.”

And the players are thrilled to be back in action and play in the football stadium for a change.

“The emotions of the first 10 to 15 minutes of looking up and being out here on this field will be very special for them,” said Trapp.

You will have four more games at home to get used to.