Fall sports begin, with COVID precautions

The fall sports season normally starts in August, before the school year begins. However, due to COVID-19, the season was pushed to February. 

“One of the big differences is that we have a very short season,” varsity field hockey coach Ms. Beth Prange said. “So for preseason normally we would have several weeks plus scrimmages, but now we only have two weeks and we are thrown into our first game.”

The fall sports season consists of cheerleading, cross country, field hockey, ultimate frisbee, football, golf and volleyball. 

“For [cross country], seasons in the past, it’s like 80-90 degrees sometimes when you first start practicing,” junior cross country member Elissa Hall said. “But now, I’m cold, but I can always get warmer. But when you’re warm and you’re running, you can’t exactly cool down. So it’s definitely nice that I am not overheating every day.”

Practices are following the regular five practices a week schedule, but with new procedures before and during practices. 

“We started by walking into the building and getting screened,” sophomore cheerleader Alexa Brooke said. “They asked questions and our temperatures [were] taken.”

Masks are mandatory and social distancing must be maintained whenever possible. Athletes’ temperatures are taken and questions pertaining to COVID-19 are asked before they participate.

“Everything else is completely outside,” Hall said. “So instead of using the locker rooms, or having sport lockers, we’re putting all of our stuff on the bleachers, just so that we are outside.”

“We have specific spots on the sidelines that are placed six feet apart,” senior football co-captain Kenji McCartney said. “And we also have to have our masks on at all times.”

Along with the season being pushed back, it has also been shortened. But that hasn’t stopped the teams from being welcoming and supportive. 

“Everybody is super welcoming, because everyone just wants to run and have fun there,” sophomore cross country member Noah Krischer said.

“Field hockey is a very supportive group,” Ms. Prange said. “They enjoy each other’s company and they support each other in good times and bad times in wins and losses.”

Overall the teams have been doing well. The varsity cheerleading team got second in the district and fifth in the region. The field hockey team defeated Yorktown High School on March 24th game putting them tied for first. The golf and volleyball team have also been doing well, and at the cross country Arlington county championships, the girls and boys both placed second. Many of the sports still have their regionals and tournaments coming up, and games to play. 

“I’m just really thankful that we were able to have a season this year and hopefully it will go well,” Ms. Prange said.