SMHS Sports Sidetracked Again?

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SMHS athletes and families have all complained about the high school sports being pushed back.  

First, the complaining started after Governor Jim Justice stopped all sports until January 11, and second, when he pushed that back again to March 1, hoping it won’t be even farther out. As much as stopping large gatherings is a very necessary procedure to limit the spread of COVID-19, but before-COVID (B.C.) life seems to be on its way to WV, the light at the end of the tunnel is visible.  

One of the many people affected by so many sports trying to catch up with their lost practices and games are the multi-sport athletes. Students who do two or even three sports in a year now must try to manage an even more chaotic challenge. Teams such as track, swim, and lacrosse are all trying to get practices going, but more importantly, meets and games.  

Many sports such as swim and track in which smaller numbers of athletes are needed to form a team are forced to cut players. Coaches see themselves constricted to consider next year’s prominent athletes as opposed to less competent ones or seniors facing their last season. This is one more point in the long list of restrictions to be applied in these seasons to come. 

“Coaching during this COVID pandemic has been made difficult since March of 2020. Our program sacrificed our entire 2020 season, losing seniors who’d worked for years to play on the team,” says Jeremy Kortright, head coach of Spring Mills High school boys lacrosse team. But the shortcomings didn’t stop coming, “We also sacrificed our summer off-season camps, a fundraiser, and our full fall ball schedule. The coach/ parent communication has been disrupted, leading to a limited exposure between coach and athlete and developing athlete/coach relationships which are vital to a good program.” 

The lacrosse program is at a slight advantage because of its club status. Lacrosse is still a growing sport in WV, but in this pandemic, it has proved as an advantage.  

“The club program at SMHS benefits from out of season conditioning opportunities that SSAC teams do not have afforded to them. The lacrosse team is permitted to begin conditioning February 22nd ” says Coach Kortright. 

Otherwise, SSAC approved teams must wait till March 1st to start their program, with sports such as swim having to cut their numbers to 16 members from their former number in the thirties. Athletes across the state of West Virginia eagerly await the vaccine to come lighten those colors on the WV map and they can get back to getting points, scoring goals, and get some W’s.