by Aidan Lieberman, Sports Reporter, Zach Rhein, Sports Contributor & Clare Tourtelotte, Sports Reporter
photo courtesy of Max Preps
No one thought wrestling would happen, since it is one of the most contact-oriented sports offered at South, captain senior Phillip Amitan said.
Surprising few, on Nov. 20, the MIAA voted to postpone the wrestling season until spring.
“It’s definitely super unpredictable,” he said. “Right now, I have no expectations because I’m just hoping that we have a season.”
Amitan said that he has not held captains’ practices yet, but he hopes to as the season nears and the weather gets warmer.
The season’s shift to the spring brings opportunities for outdoor practices and tournaments, he said.
“There’s actually some rumors that I’ve heard that we might have tournaments outside, and that’s something that’s never happened before,” he said. “I’m really excited for that, especially with more outdoor practices. It’ll just be a fun season.”
Football coach Ted Dalicandro said that he’s excited for his team’s season, although it’s coming almost six months later than usual.
“First and foremost, I want to see these kids playing sports and getting active and being outside. I think it was horrible that we didn’t get to play in the fall,” he said. “We’ll take it as it comes.”
He said his players are working hard to prepare for the season.
“I know the kids have been working out, and when the weather was nicer they were doing some seven-on-sevens with other communities,” he said. “Then, once the weather turned cold, it turned into indoor and weightlifting.”
Dalicandro said that he and the team will make the best of the less-than-ideal situation.
“This is going to be challenging, but it’s going to be like everything else the past year — challenging, but you have to rise to the challenge, and get the most out of it,” he said.
Boys indoor track captain Cam Dioun has hosted captains’ practices since December.
“We’ve been hosting two a week, and they’ve gone really well. We’ve had a good turnout, and everyone’s enjoying them,” he said. “Now, they’ve increased to three practices a week, as the season nears.”
While the MIAA has come out with guidelines regarding social distancing, it is unclear where meets will be held. Dioun said the team is prepared regardless.
“As a team, I think we’re really ready. The question is about competitions and how those work because, as athletes, we’ve been pretty much left in the dark about that,” he said. “The most likely scenario would be indoor meets on an outdoor track.
Runners are still training for the postponed, but finally upcoming season.
“As a team, we’re feeling good, and we’ve been running,” Dioun said. “I’ve been looking at everyone’s training, everyone’s doing good.”
Head volleyball coach Lucas Coffeen is excited to start the season and said the team is prepared to take COVID-19 precautions seriously.
“COVID-19 safety has to be paramount; it has to be the most important thing,” Coffeen said. “For us, it is making sure that whatever we do, there’s a mind to safety around COVID-19.”
Coffeen said that while being mindful of safety precautions, he wants to ensure his players continue enjoying the sport.
“I want it to be like a real season with real expectations and real team building and real competition,” he said.
Captain senior Maddie Xerras hosted outdoor practices in the summer and will resume captains’ practices closer to the start of the season. She said she hopes to schedule as much team bonding as possible.
“It’s my last year, so I know me and my fellow captains are going to make it special and fun, even with all the new restrictions,” she said.
Dance coach Michelle Cueroni said she’s optimistic for the upcoming season and prepared to do what it takes to safely compete.
“There’s a way that we can do it where we can be six feet apart at all times,” she said. “It is still very possible for us to have a season and have some cool dances and be together.”
Cueroni said that she and the captains chose to wait until the season nears to hold captains’ practices.
Cueroni is unsure where performances will take place, despite the MIAA’s go-ahead.
“Normally in the fall we would dance at the football games at halftime and then in the winter we do basketball games. We don’t know what sport we’ll be performing for yet,” she said.
Cueroni maintains her hope for a fun and safe dance season.
“I know that there has been a little bit of disappointment, but I am hopeful that we’ll be able to have it and that we’ll be able to make all the modifications [to] have a successful season,” she said.
“It happens naturally because if you’re within six feet of someone, you’re probably going to fall over because your skis are wide, and your poles are out,” she said.
The weather, a combination of high temperatures and minimal snowfall, however, has proved a challenge. Despite imperfect skiing conditions, members of the team are improving rapidly, she said.
Shapiro said that though the fate of the season was up in the air during the fall, the team is glad competing is still possible and prepared to keep working hard the rest of the season.
“I’m having a lot of fun, and I hope other people are too. I think it is going really well, especially considering COVID-19,” she said. “I’m really happy it was able to happen.”