The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Association recently announced a surprising plan to move the fall and winter sports seasons to the spring due to current COVID-19 restrictions. The three athletic seasons will run consecutively starting February 1st through June 19th of 2021. Each season will be given a 20 day preseason and will overlap each other by about two weeks. This overlap may pose problems for multi-season athletes. After the loss of the spring athletic season this past year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, athletes of all seasons are definitely hoping for any kind of opportunity to play this year. This kind of world-wide shut down has never been seen before in our lifetime but the Severn community is doing all we can to make the best of it.
Currently at Severn, we are following the IAAM’s decision to postpone fall and winter sports until further notice, however, fall athletic teams are able to practice twice a week and must comply with certain COVID restrictions. After much pushback from student athletes, parents, and fans, county run leagues are beginning to pop up for some sports, such as, field hockey and football. Many are wondering why club sports teams are able to play in tournaments and leagues but there has been very little progress in the return to sports among IAAM affiliated schools.
I reached out to our Athletic Director, Julian Domenech, for his input on the county’s decision to move fall sports to the spring and other information regarding the future of Severn’s fall and winter seasons. Mr. Domenech added that the county did not have much of a choice regarding moving of all athletic seasons to the spring because most counties decided to go fully-remote for the entire first semester and expressed his remorse for those coaches and athletes that lost their spring seasons this past school year due to almost full shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. I also asked Mr. Domenech if Severn had a working plan to return to sports this season or if we could possibly end up moving to the spring as well. Mr. Domenech responded, “At this moment, Severn will follow the IAAM and the MIAA when they make a decision. They have postponed Fall Sports until further notice. Both leagues have a task force which has met several times on this matter. Their next meeting is schedule for the 1st week in October.” Hopefully fall and winter athletes that are anxious about the outcome of their seasons will be given some clarity after the IAAM’s upcoming meeting in October. Mr. Domenech also is very impressed with the positive attitude that has been displayed throughout the current fall practices and he hopes to keep the high energy up “to show our younger athletes what it means to be an Admiral!”
I also reached out to two current fall athletes, Regan King and Will Gunhus for their input on the postponement of their senior fall athletic season. Regan King, a senior captain on the Severn Women’s Field Hockey Team, supports the county’s decision to move all athletic seasons to the spring, however, she believes that “the county needs to be more transparent about the decisions they are making with the students and with the athletes themselves because that’s such a big part of our lives and we devote hours and hours of time and modify our entire lives around these sports and they really need to tell us what’s going on.” Regan also expresses her remorse for her fellow senior athletes due to the unprecedented nature of these times and unsure future of their last high schools sports seasons.
Will Gunhus, a senior on the Severn Men’s Soccer Team, also conveys his concern about multi-season athletes having a difficult time choosing between different sports when the seasons have a two week period of overlap and says that the spring gets especially busy for many athletes and worries that many will not have time for multiple sports. When asked what he would especially miss about his fall season, Will responded, “I miss the camaraderie between all my teammates. Even though we have practiced twice a week, it’s a lot more difficult to create a close culture when you don’t see each other very often.”
While the future of Severn’s fall and winter athletic seasons are currently undecided, many athletes are hoping to get some kind of opportunity to play and compete against other schools in some form. Fall athletes are encouraged to stay in shape and make an effort to grow their team culture whether or not they will have a normal sports season.
Information in this article courtesy of the Capital Gazette: https://www.capitalgazette.com/sports/high-school/ac-cs-mpssaa-releases-two-semester-plan-20200911-vfhwehkwjrey5njblm5xnxitwi-story.html