An Update on HCPSS Sports During the Covid-19 Pandemic
By Leah Russell
Image Source: The Baltimore Sun
The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown all sports seasons for a loop with the out of the box solution the NBA created for their finals in a complete bubble, and the consistent testing required for NFL teams and teams in college sports to be able to continue playing games amidst the pandemic. High school sports provide a little more of a challenge logistically, which is why there have already been multiple postponements to the start of in-person sports here at Hammond High School.
“Colleges and professional teams have a lot of money and resources that high schools just do not have,” Mr. Lerner, Hammond’s Athletic Director, discusses the obstacles that Hammond faces in starting sports, compared to some of the other leagues that are well into playing, “If you look at the NBA, they were able to have a successful season because they played in a ‘bubble’ without fans and players sequestered in hotels. In colleges, athletes can be sequestered on campus which could minimize exposure, which we do not have the ability to do at the high school level.”
Having any sort of in-person season would allow the Hammond community as a whole to have something to participate in and look forward to for students and all other community members. Mr. Lerner shares his thoughts on the virtual season, “The major benefit to a virtual season is just to have a bit of socialization and normalcy. In addition to socialization, coaches had the opportunity to bring in guest speakers, go over some strategies, provide workouts to athletes, and just be there for them.”Continue reading
How colleges are keeping their players and students safe while playing during the pandemic
By Leah Russell
Associated Press/News Tribune
Covid-19 has affected all aspects of our lives, and with fall sports season upon us, there are many different tactics that sports teams are using to keep their players and staff safe during the pandemic. The NBA went out of the box to create a bubble for all of their players during the games. The NFL is playing in full swing, but many of the stadiums do not have fans, like Maryland’s own Baltimore Ravens. While some college leagues have decided to postpone or cancel their football seasons, many are just not ready to do that yet.
As of September 26th, all ten of the conferences in the NCAA’s Football Bowl Subdivision have plans to play this fall. The Mid-American Conference and Mountain West Conference being the latest ones added to this list. With so many conferences playing college football currently, it is important to keep players and workers safe. For the Mid-American Conference, keeping players safe involves four mandatory antigen tests a week, and not allowing the general public to attend games.
The Mountain West Conference however, is allowing individual colleges to determine fan attendance. The Big Ten have decided to have no fans in the stadium for this fall season like the Mid’American Conference. It will be a shock to see Ohio State’s 102,780 capacity stadium or Penn State’s 106,572 capacity stadium empty, but it is a smart move to keep everyone at their schools safer during this pandemic.Continue reading
By: Sarah Meklir
The National Hockey League (NHL) recently announced their return-to-play plan to continue the 2020 season. With comprehensive planning and gameplay changes, the NHL will be the nation’s first sport to return from quarantine.
By Ekene Ezeh and Caleb Angus
The coronavirus has affected everyone around the world, with lockdowns and closures becoming constant during this time. While many people are paying attention to the economic and physical effects of the virus, most do not realize the impact it may have on high school sports. Spring sports have been canceled due to the virus, and it has had an effect on seniors looking to go to college.
Hammond senior Louick Amouzou running hurdles in the spring of 2019 during his junior year. Louick could not do the event this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Photo Credit: Baltimore Sun.
“The cancellation of sports is devastating,” said Mr. Lerner, the athletic director at Hammond. “More than denying seniors an opportunity to add film, the cancellation of spring sports denies seniors a final season to represent their high school.” The pandemic will also have an effect when it comes to recruiting for colleges. “The NCAA is considering allowing college spring athletes another year of eligibility,” added Mr. Lerner, “which would have a direct impact on the number of scholarships available for high school seniors, as well as the number of available roster spots.”
By Claire O’Rourke
On 14 March 2020, governor Hogan’s order to close all K-12 schools, announced on Thursday earlier that week, went into effect. Not only did it mark what seemed to be the end for in-school events and sports, but also was a seal placed over my club volleyball team’s practices.
Strive Volleyball Club is a not-for-profit club volleyball program established in 2017 whose players come from all around Howard County, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Baltimore County, and Prince George’s County.
I have played for Strive since my sophomore year (16s), so I know from experience how engaging and hands-on the club runs their practices. This kind of approach and focus is pivotal to an athlete’s success and is one of the many reasons why I keep choosing to play for Strive.
However, once schools closed, so did their gyms which we use to practice in. And with that, the most important building block of volleyball skills was gone not only for our team but club teams across the nation.
By: Sarah Meklir
In-Depth Gold Editor
Hammond’s Allied Soccer team had a successful season this fall under the supportive instruction of Coach Dhillon. Dhillon said, “It’s always a bit of a struggle getting a team together at the beginning of the year, getting help, but once we get started it goes really well. The kids enjoy it.”
Mr. Dhillon, a math teacher for the special education department, has coached the team for three years, and has prior experience coaching at high school and college levels. “I coached at Atholton for 8 years, helped out at Howard Community College coaching the guys on varsity there, and I was a graduate assistant coaching in college.”
When asked about his favorite aspect of coaching, Dhillon replied, “The best part about coaching is seeing how much fun the players have. I’ll always enjoy that. That’s the most important.” While they’re trying to teach the team some soccer skills, he said the most rewarding part was presenting the players with opportunities they may not have been given otherwise.
“All the kids improved and got more comfortable as the year went on,” Dhillon said. Throughout the season, certain players stood out for their improvement and dedication. “Gabe Thompson started out very shy, and as the season went on, he came out of his shell a little bit.” Coach Dhillon added, “Camilia Omar-Jones started out, had a rough beginning of the season, then turned it around and finished the season really strong.”
In regards to next season, the coach hopes to involve more students with the program. “[My] goals for next year are to get some extra helpers, to get more kids on the team. We’re trying to grow the program a little bit.” When enlisting new members, it’s hard to ignore the benefits of such a supportive environment.
Students involved learn skills that will benefit them for years to come, including “following directions, teamwork, and overcoming limitations,” said Dhillon, “Being able to do something people said they couldn’t do, things like that. That’s what’s gonna help them in the long run.”
Photo Credit: Hammond HS Athletics
By Ekene Ezeh
Anthony Davis during his introductory press conference for the Lakers after demanding a trade from the Pelicans
Photo credit: Forbes
Player trades are a big part of sports. From the Hershal Walker trade in 1989, to Kobe being traded to the Lakers in 1996. Every year, fans look forward to seeing who their team has traded for. They are anxious to see how much better or worse their team has gotten, and whether or not the trade will bring them closer to a championship. But what happens to a fanbase when a star player decides to demand a trade? Athletes like Jalen Ramesy, Paul George, Anthony Davis, Antonio Brown, and others have all demanded trades and gotten their wish, which has sprung up plenty of controversy amongst the fans and the media. Is it a problem that athletes are forcing their way off teams despite being under contract? Or is it a good thing that players are taking control of their careers and making decisions that are better for their future? There are always two sides to this argument, but I believe that athletes should be allowed to demand trades.
By Sydney Phillips and Ekene Ezeh
The Hammond High School Cross Country team has had another strong season after lots of hard work and team effort over the summer. The team had run counties, and finished strong this season.
One cross country meet that really stood out to Freshman Wayne Low was the Howard County Invitationals. The Howard County Invitational took place on Saturday, September 14th, and the cross country team started their season off strong. “It was my first meet, and I saw a lot of schools there,” he said.
Photo Creds: Coach Kim Williams
As Coach Kim reflected on what impressed her about the team this season, she said, “The improvement. We have a really young team. We don’t actually have any seniors on our team. Most of the kids we have are ninth and tenth graders. This is the first time we have had four kids in the 18 minute range and one kid in the 17 minute range.” But what impressed her even more was her team and the hard work that the runners put in over the summer.
“We had five kids over the summer run over 400 miles,” she said, “So I think that shows where we stand because they put in the work.” To discuss next year’s team, and reflecting on all of the work the team did over the summer, Coach Kim responded saying, “I think going into next year, I think we are going to be a totally different team. I think that [work] really shows where we stand.”
Within the impressive team, there were a few runners that really stood out this season. One of the runners was Marie Pejcic. The junior received very high praise from her Coach. “She is probably going to make it states,” Coach Kim stated, “and she has the second fastest time in Hammond records.” Pejicic was able to run an impressive 20:55. The only girl to have a faster time the Pejcic was Nicole Dawson at 20:32 back in 2008. But Pejcic wasn’t the only runner that stood out to Coach Kim during the season. Freshman Mackenna Hunter was a runner who caught Coach Kim’s eye as well. Hunter was one of the most improved runners on the team “She’s done really well,” Coach Kim spoke. Coach Kim also mentioned Wayne Low. Although Coach Kim did not have her running times available, she said that both of them have dropped 5-6 minutes off of their time.
Low said that he really likes the cross country team. “It was really fun,” he said. He is looking forward to doing cross country again, running, and pushing himself. He stated that he would like to improve his time and his scores.
For next year, Coach Kim believes that “the varsity squad is going to work together and get even faster.” She said that she feels as if they are at a place now where they’re going to see the amount of work they have put in this season. “If they run over the summer, they are going to be able to get into the seventeens and they will probably be able to put us in place on the result charts.”
Overall, the Hammond High School Cross Country Team has had a great season, and they are looking forward to their next season!
By: Ekene Ezeh and Caleb Angus
Over the years, the NFL has seen its fair share of outstanding MVPs, from Patrick Mahomes throwing 50 touchdowns, to Tom Brady going 16-0, to Peyton Manning breaking the single season touchdown record with 55. This year there are plenty of reasonable candidates for MVP, but which one will end up on top by February? Here are this year’s top MVP Candidates and why they should all be considered.
By: Abike Orenuga and Chisom Ibezue
Hammond’s Varsity field hockey team has had an outstanding season so far, making significant improvements since last year’s season.
Hammond’s Varsity field hockey team started off the year with a streak of three wins in a row. All the girls are in high spirits and hopeful that their seasons will be coming to a good end, as they are already two months into a roughly three month season, occasionally longer if the team wins their first game at playoffs.
Photo Credits: Girls Field Hockey