By Sarah Lithicum
After the unfortunate cancellation of the winter athletic season, coaches and athletes have been looking forward to the possibility of a fall season, and it is finally here. The fall season began on February 13th, and it will go on all throughout March until April 17th. Everyone participating has been doing their best to prepare, and keep themselves updated on the necessary safety guidelines.
Hammond’s cross county coach, Mr. Kosisky, shared some of his thoughts on the upcoming fall sports season. “I’m looking forward to seeing the students/connecting in person, and being able to bring back some sense of normalcy.” He further shared, “having fall sports in the winter, such as cross country, it will be a challenge dealing with the colder weather and ice/snow, as normally we aren’t running in these conditions during the fall. Monitoring the weather and recommending appropriate running attire for the athletes is very important.”
Varsity field hockey athlete Tova Chertok said, “I’m looking forward to getting to play with my team for the last time as a senior. I’m also looking forward to spending time with teammates who I haven’t been able to see in a long time.” Tova also shared, “the first practice went well, we had to learn and adjust to all of the COVID-19 rules, and social distance and wear masks as much as possible. I think after a few practices we will be more comfortable working together as a team.”
Although it has been awhile since any high school athletics have taken place, coaches have done their best to help guide athletes in preparing themselves for the possible competitive seasons this year. Mr. Kosisky shared, “We as coaches have met with our athletes virtually, given them workout routines and suggestions, and also have awesome team captains that have been organizing in person practices with the student athletes.”
Varsity soccer athlete, Camryn Johnson shared, “I’m looking forward to being with my teammates again and wearing the Hammond jersey one more time.” Practice has just begun last week, and Camryn explained, “everyone was respectful of the guidelines that were set in place so I felt safe, and I liked that we were still able to do essentially everything we normally do!”
For many students this will be their senior athletic season, and it is important that they are recognized. Mr. Kosisky shares that he envisions planning a virtual evening ceremony night towards the end of the season. Senior athletes are especially happy that the fall season can begin, seeing as this will be their final season competing with the teammates they’ve worked with for years. Coaches and athletes have put so much time and effort into their sports, and it is inspiring to see the fall season come together through everyone’s hard work.
Varsity field hockey athlete, Sierra Shaffer shared, “we had a virtual practice that was just a HIIT workout all together, which worked out perfectly. I don’t think it would work very well virtually if we actually practiced stick skills unless it was very stationary since a lot of people have limited space.” Luckily the first in-person practice was able to take place, and Sierra explained, “it went very well, it was as normal as it could be. We still had the same structure and set up as before, we just kept our masks on the whole time.”
As COVID-19 rates continue to decrease, athletes and coaches remain hopeful for a full and successful season. Practices have officially started, and students have been eager to get back out on the field. As everyone continues to follow the safety precautions set in place, Hammond’s athletic teams can expect a great season.