NH Athletic Directors Are Trying To Learn From Fall Sports To Ensure A Safe Winter Sports Season
This is especially good news considering the recent drama involving the boys' and girls' varsity soccer teams at Newmarket High School, who had to forfeit their spots in tournament play earlier this week over a mask mandate. WMUR is reporting that New Hampshire high school athletic directors are starting to closely look at how fall sports went to make adjustments in trying to have as many successful winter sports seasons as possible.
The big difference between fall and winter sports is obviously location (for the most part) -- most fall sports like football, golf and soccer (maybe all of them, except for volleyball, really) are played outdoors, which is obviously a more ideal scenario. Winter sports though -- basketball, wrestling, indoor track, etc -- all take place indoors (except if maybe some schools have cross country skiing teams?), which keeps people in close quarters, a big no-no these days.
It's a tough thing, though, because obviously the safety of everyone has to be first. That's even along the lines of what Bob Dawson, the AD for Sanborn Regional High School told WMUR -- "safety first and the letting the kids play comes second."
Honestly, I think the best lesson to be learned is from volleyball -- that's the only (that I can think of) indoor fall sport. I know some schools cancelled their volleyball seasons all together, but there are still schools that fielded (courted?) a team for the fall season. Hone in on what they did right and wrong, learn from that, adapt, and hopefully we'll be able to have a safe and successful winter sports season.
I feel like a broken record saying this, but I just feel so awful for not only all of the student-athletes in general, but ESPECIALLY the seniors. Your senior season is something special -- if you've played a sport as a senior, you get it. My senior year of high school, I was a co-captain for the Salem High boys' varsity volleyball team -- we lost our last game of the season in the championship finals of that year's tournament to our rivals -- we were all absolutely heartbroken, especially the seniors.
But at least we got to play out our final season and we just came up short in our final game. Our heartbreak was sort of our own doing by not playing better and winning. The heartbreak a lot of these seniors may feel this season -- not even brought on by themselves. Hopefully, all of these athletic directors can find a way to make it work.