The new year is off to a positive start as high school sports considered low- or moderate- risk can resume practices as of January 4, 2021. Walt Whitman’s Winter Track and Fencing teams began their practices on Monday with much excitement after months of inaction. While the safety protocols and atmosphere are different, the students and coaches are elated to train again.
“It’s good to see all the kids again. I think they need structure, and I think they crave the structure,” shared Walt Whitman Boy’s Track Coach Rob Conroy in an interview with Newsday. Students participating in low- to moderate- risk sports are feeling particularly lucky to be able to get together and practice.
“We are excited that we are finally playing,” shared South Huntington Athletic Director Dr. James Wright. “Although the ‘alleged’ high-risk sports like Basketball, Wrestling, and Cheer were not approved, Fencing, Track, Bowling, and Boys Swimming are a go.”
Practices have been modified to accommodate coronavirus protocols, such as providing breaks between long activities to give athletes the ability to spread out and safely distance themselves to catch their breath and hydrate.
“We have been one of the few schools to follow the data that shows sports are not a transmitter and have been conducting full workouts for all teams since September 21,” shared Dr. Wright. “We will continue to play using the protocols given to us and find more data to support the return of all sports to a normal routine.”
Long Island’s public schools have not had any competition since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but look forward to the action beginning January 12 with an 8-week winter season.
“The 8-week season is not the best scenario but it is the same for every season going forward. There are 10’s of thousands of kids and coaches that have been emotionally and physically impacted,” expressed Dr. Wright, who hopes to have our district's athletes back to playing and competing with minimal restrictions in the near future.
As we start to see students gearing up for practices, hitting the weight room, and heading back onto the playing field, excitement builds for the many students who have been waiting for this day to come. “It’s nice to work and play in a school district that supports the athletic endeavors of our student-athletes,” shared the grateful Athletic Director. From athletes to spectators and the community as a whole, we are all looking forward to being able to cheer on and support our Wildcats again.
To view Newsday’s coverage of this story, click here.
To view the full Section XI Athletic schedule, click here.