In the wake of school closures and quarantine restrictions because of COVID-19, Howard County has implemented social distancing measures and shifted to virtual learning, causing a massive blow to fall sports. The county has mandated postponing the fall season until March 15th, 2021, shortening it to fit between the winter and spring seasons. Those participating in fall sports have resorted to modified practices: conditioning and training in virtual and socially-distanced settings.
Most of these practices are student-led, allowing athletes to take charge of the modified fall season. The golf team, which typically practices in the fall, has been dedicating its time to prepare for the postponed season in March.
“We had a golf Google Meet on [September 21st] discussing the ways that the team could practice and build a solid program for this season,” said Max Middleton, a senior on the team. “As captains, Conarie Steinbach and I will be organizing rounds on the course, driving range practices, and time for us to have fun and be together as a team.”
Middleton is confident in the team’s abilities to perform, even when faced with the setbacks of the modified season. “Centennial has been very close to winning the county championship title the last couple years, and Conarie and I are gonna do everything in our power to try and get our team ready for the season,” assured Middleton.
Cross country, another fall sport, has also been coordinating amongst themselves to have a productive preseason.
“We connect with each other and discuss what workouts we have been running and the speed of them when working on our own. Sometimes we run together at a distance, but having anybody there helps motivate each other during our runs,” stated junior Luke Lascasas. “Our coaches now are starting to discuss with us via our virtual practices on what days to work out harder, and when to run easier.”
Although student athletes are dedicated to their conditioning for the modified season and are keeping their motivation high, there is still an air of dismay surrounding the postponed season.
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