Reactions to Sports Changes 2020-2021

Joey Nguyen tees off at Rockland Golf Course on Oct. 1.        Twitter photo: Coach Brian Smith.

James Tsiantoulas, Veritas Staff

Oct. 9, 2020

2020 has been a rough year for the students of R.H.S. As the virus continues to sweep through the nation more and more changes have affected students in schools, one big change being linked to athletics. 

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) which governs high school athletics voted to issue an extra sports season (Fall 2) to allow some fall sports to compete later in the year. Football, volleyball and fall cheerleading are now scheduled to play in February after the winter season and before the spring sports season.  

Hunter Wardwell practices his putting at Ridder Country Club on Oct. 6. Twitter photo courtesy Ms. Lombardi

The sports that have been given the green light to compete right now are golf, soccer, and cross country. There are multiple students who are taking their talents to those sports.Fall sports athletes began practices at RHS on Sept. 25.

RHS Athletic Director Gary Graziano feels it is important to get some form of team sports going, I think it will be difficult but I also think it’s essential for us to get the kids back to some sort of normalcy and get them on the field exercising..  I think the kids will respond well!”  

Senior football captain Cullen Rogers, says, “I am planning on participating in golf,” and the season has gotten underway. Cullen has been doing his best in his new role as well as the other students who have decided to take on a new opportunity.

Football Coach Nick Liquori commented on the move of three sports to February. “It is certainly different, but more of a necessary evil, to be able to get as many student athletes participating/competing and give the feel of a ‘normal”

There are some concerns with the virus still active across the state and the U.S.

Mr. Liquori shared his insight. “Obviously, not being in the medical field, I don’t want to speak if it is safe or not, but I feel that if the data shows that other states are able to play HS sports, why not in our state?  As long as the athletes and parents feel safe allowing them to compete.  If we can do it safely and smart…why not?”

Mr. Graziano elaborated further. “I am concerned with the season and the possibility of it (the virus) spreading, but I also trust the people guiding us to play and follow the guidelines in place and feel safe.”

With administration doing everything to prevent the spread, students could be faced with possible consequences if they violate the rules. Mr. Liquori said, “One thing for certain that I think everyone is in agreement with is the safety of the student/athletes.  I feel everyone involved needs to be as diligent and disciplined to the rules, so that no one team or person or school for that matter is having to deal w/consequences that could result in missed games and/or seasons.”

Finally, some students are alarmed with all of these changes that it could be difficult to focus both in the classroom and on the field.  Rogers gave his opinion on the matter, saying, I think we need sports right now. Being focused in the classroom and on the field will be a struggle at first, but I know we can all do it.” 

With school finally going back into session and students getting used to the new systems put in place, sports add another thing they will need to adjust to.

Hopefully students realize this is a serious issue and they all do what they are told. Fighting this virus is going to take everyone and one false move might spell disaster. 

Only time will tell.

The golf team have played two matches so far. The boys’ and girls’ soccer teams open their seasons today (Friday, Oct. 9) against Cohasset. The boys’ and girls’ cross country teams will play Cohasset tomorrow morning (Saturday, Oct. 10) at Cohasset.

Posted on October 9, 2020, in Features, Sports. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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