Editor’s Note: Coaches in the Yuba-Sutter-Colusa region are adapting to the world of sports in a pandemic as most teams gear up for a restart to begin 2021. If you’re a local coach with a story to tell and are ready and willing to hit the ground running please reach out to Appeal Sports Editor Jeff Larson at email@example.com.
Cristina Baggio is arming the Yuba College women’s soccer team with masks and everything in her arsenal to keep them safe during phase one of conditioning and the eventual delayed 2020 fall soccer season. She recently spent some time with the Appeal answering a few questions about her team, herself and what’s been going on lately.
Please sit down and enjoy what the 49er coach has to say.
Name: Cristina Baggio
Residence: Yuba City.
Occupation: Head Women’s Soccer Coach, Yuba College; and Kinesiology, Health and Physical Education Lecturer.
With the return of soccer practice how are your players and other staff handling the new normal playing outdoor sports in a pandemic? Staff and players are handling the return of some face to face activity great and are more than excited to be back socially distant, but together on the soccer field. We are working hard with smaller groups on speed/agility, fitness and technical skills and have taken the new normal as an opportunity to stick with our motto for the upcoming season – Whatever it takes!
What are you most looking forward to about the delayed 2020 season? Personally, I am looking forward to competing against other schools within our conference. I am also looking forward to making my current sophomores have the best season possible. After two weeks of training on Tuesday and Thursdays I know the staff and I are really looking forward to this upcoming spring season ahead of us.
Will weather be a factor for 2020? How will you adjust?
Weather could most definitely become a factor. As we recently experienced some cancellations of practices due to poor air quality, we will face any issues if and when presented with the challenge. As far as adjusting, our spring season is scheduled for multiple days to host makeup games, if necessary. Whatever we can get as far as playing-wise we will take.
What’s your music of choice when entering or exiting a room? I guess it depends on the environment. Final answer.
What brought you to the Yuba-Sutter area? Education and to further my soccer career in California. I was ready for new opportunities and to explore a different world from one that I was comfortable being in. I was ready to get comfortable being uncomfortable with my family’s support back at home.
What do you like about the Yuba-Sutter area? I have found the Yuba-Sutter area to be filled with great people. From arriving here in 2008, to returning back in 2019 Yuba has always had a special place in my heart. Yuba has become my home away from home in New York. I have made a lot of meaningful relationships with people, who I once called friends, that I now proudly can call family. I have also explored the Yuba-Sutter area a bit more recently. There are so many beautiful bodies of water to kayak, hiking trails, and outdoor activities. Yuba is centered around many beautiful destinations North, South, East, and West.
Where would you like to retire to/live for a year? Puerto Vallarta, Mexico because it has rich culture, great food, good people, and beautiful beaches.
Dream vacation? I really think I experienced my dream vacation in Spain in 2018 by being a part of the parade of champions and watching Cristiano Ronaldo play for Real Madrid for the final time. To this day, that moment still feels like a dream. There were so many different ages celebrating, from grandparents, to children, teenagers, and parents. It really did feel surreal, I have never felt that much love for a sport in any environment. It felt like all of Madrid was out that night in support of the champions … I couldn’t believe it. The streets were full of excitement.
What is the closest you’ve been to a famous person?
I’ve had the pleasure of working a soccer camp in Granite Bay with Abby Wambach, Shannon Boxx, and Christie Pearce (formerly Rampone). I also met Didier Drogba at a Sacramento Republic practice in Elk Grove. My most memorable experience running into a famous person was being in Spain after Real Madrid won the champions league in 2018. I was in Madrid at the time and stayed an extra day to attend the parade in the city. It was unreal, I was about 20 feet away from the entire team.
Favorite memory to share? Being at the ticker tape parade in New York City when the U.S. women’s national team won last year; that was really an amazing experience.
What did you want to be when you were a kid? A professional soccer player, my dream player was Mia Hamm.
Favorite places in the area?
Scotts Flat Lake, Little Grass Valley Reservoir, Champions Indoor Arena, Bullards Bar Reservoir, Los Charros, Soccer City.
Favorite book? I just began reading The Mamba Mentality and I am really enjoying it.
What movie stops you while flipping through the TV channels?
The Blind Side
Favorite musical group/sports team? My favorite sports team would have to be the U.S. women’s soccer team. I think they are amazing and a great role model for current athletes as well as future generations in all sports.
Who should play you in a movie?
Sandra Bullock, my all-time favorite actress.