Athletes Keep On Keepin' On
When classrooms — and sports fields — had to shut down last spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no one knew how long it might be until the mighty Mustangs could run, jump, and play together on the campus fields and courts again. As spring turned to summer and again to fall, Athletics Director Angela Brown and her team started putting their heads together to see if there was a way to safely bring athletics back to campus in some form.
The result of many hours of planning, preparation, testing protocols, and consultation with the medical advisors on the school's Scenario Task Force first came to fruition earlier this fall when fifteen intrepid cross country runners laced up their shoes and gathered on campus for a weekly conditioning program. The success of that program — measured as much by participation as the smiles and good cheer clearly emanating from behind students' masks at the end of each practice — inspired Brown and the coaching staff to see what else they could do.
"You know you've had a great event when the kids are happy," said
Enter soccer, which kicked off with a bang this week. Forty two athletes total in Fourth Grade through US4 came to campus to take part in conditioning circuits led by Coaches Kim Henry, Carlos Ferreira, Michael Coleman, and Assistant Athletic Director Doug Monet. The practice was entirely "touchless," with plenty of hand sanitizer on hand just in case, and all participants masked and spaced more than six feet apart during each aspect of the practice.
"It’s been a glimmer of hope to make an aspect of athletics still happen," said Coach Brown. "It just makes me feel that as tough as these times are, there is still something we can hold onto that is very familiar in sports. So with that alone, it just makes me feel great that we are able to pull that together for everybody — a common thread of hope and moving forward."
With a successful first practice under their belt, soccer conditioning will move forward as long as conditions allow for its safe continuation. Students and parents alike have been uniformly grateful for the experience, said Brown, and that along with her team's continuing refinement of safe procedures bodes well for the future as local and state regulations allow.
"If things continue to go well, we’ve been vetting aspects of other sports for conditioning such as basketball, football, and volleyball. We want to make sure we adhere to the safety expectations and we can figure out all aspects before saying this is exactly what we’re going to do, but these things are on our mind," said Brown.