By Michaela Lester
The 2020-2021 school year is, without question, one for the record books. Upon arrival, students realized that OBHS looked different from previous years, with the additions of hallway dividers, desk shields, and temperature scanners. Many students are happy to finally see their teachers and peers in a school environment since the abrupt closing of schools last March. That being said, an important aspect of OBHS was missing: competitive sports.
Section VIII of the New York Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) announced on August 26, 2020, that all fall sports would be postponed until 2021. The announcement put a damper on an otherwise successful reopening, so the OBEN administration strongly felt that something had to be done to boost students’ spirits.
After careful consideration and planning, on October 2, Mr. Kevin Trentowski, director of the OBEN athletic department, announced that OBHS would run intramural sports in lieu of a typical fall sports season. Scheduled sports included tennis, field hockey, running, football conditioning, soccer, and a new multisport club.
Following the end of the fall intramural program, OBHS will implement a winter training and conditioning session. The athletic department will run this program under the supervision of gym teachers, coaches, and athletic trainers for about an hour everyday after school until December 18. Depending on the status of winter sports, however, this program could be extended an additional few weeks, although the exact extension is to be determined.
Conditioning will include exercise circuits, workout plans, and injury prevention to ensure the safety of all student athletes. After eight months without competitive sports, it would be dangerous for students to jump right back into games and strenuous practices; such activity would likely lead to muscle strains, sprains, and possibly more severe injuries. The program will focus on progressive overload, which is a training method that is characterized by the gradual increase of workout intensity. By participating, athletes will be able to safely recondition without the use of equipment in order to minimize the amount of indirect contact between people.
By attending this training session, students can simultaneously socialize with their peers and get back in shape so they can play their favorite sports again, and they can do it all without commitment. Attendance is optional, though recommended, so athletes can fit these modified practices into their busy schedules.
Unfortunately, due to NYSPHAA’s COVID-19 guidelines, all games, scrimmages, and tournaments are currently out of the picture. As of now, low-risk winter sports can start in early January, and the start date for fall sports is set for March. In the meantime, intramurals allow athletes to improve their skills and prepare for their next formal sports season.
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