Game On?: What to Expect for High School Sports this Fall
If we have learned anything during the pandemic, it’s that nothing is certain. Just when we think we have it figured out and we know what to expect in the near future, 2020 throws us another curveball. For high school students, one of the biggest mysteries is what will become of our sports teams this year.
Sports are a big part of the St. Agnes Academy community. With an impressive 103 state titles, and more than 500 students playing on at least one of our 36 teams, athletics are a core part of our high school experience.
What should have been another fantastic year of athletics was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. When stay-at-home orders began in the spring, our seasons ended. “It was sad when the season got cut short,” says Audrey Smith (‘23), manager of the junior varsity lacrosse team. “It was a great group of girls to be on a team with. Everyone worked so well together.”
Now that we are back to school (virtually), we are looking to the future with high hopes for a successful year in sports. Our athletics department is working hard to make this year as normal as possible for our athletes, and our fall sports teams are back with strength and conditioning workouts.
So, what will the fall season look like? The head coaches for the St. Agnes fall sports teams share what they know now:
Conditioning began at the end of August, and tryouts are on track to happen soon. “It is my goal to have three teams again this year as we do in years past,” says field hockey head coach Tiffany Deinzer. Along with all of the St. Agnes athletics staff, Coach Deinzer is working hard to make sure players are safe. “Our conditioning workouts are following social distancing procedures. Players come wearing masks and show a waiver that certifies that they do not have a temperature, nor do they have any COVID 19 symptoms. Players maintain social distancing when not exercising, and when working out players must maintain 10 feet of distance at all times,” she said.
Cross country runners were unable to meet during the summer for regular workouts, and instead had to do daily workouts on their own. Fortunately, practices have now begun with several health guidelines. Runners remain distanced during workouts, take their temperatures when they arrive, and wear masks to practice. While players will be able to gather for competitions, they have been limited to eight teams per competition instead of the usual twenty. The team, along with Coach Kristi Robbins, is excited to be able to start their new season, especially after not being able to compete or practice for most of the season. “We have a few obstacles and some hard training ahead of us but we are extremely happy to be able to be back together. The girls are working hard to defend their state title,” says Coach Robbins.
Volleyball is lucky enough to have already undergone tryouts and currently practices at the outdoor fields of St. Agnes’ sports complex. They will continue to practice there until they receive clearance to begin their season and practice indoors. The players are working hard and adjusting to these new circumstances. “We pray that we can go back to our indoor training facility soon so we can compete for another State Title,” says Coach Cydryce McMillian. “Our motto this year is to Defend the Den and we are focused on our end goal date of November 21st.”
St. Agnes is lucky to have such an amazing athletics department, which has been working very hard to make this year’s seasons as normal as they can. Even with these different circumstances, we believe this year will be just as amazing as past years. No one knows what will be thrown at us later on, but we all know that when something changes, we will be ready for it.
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