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Lockdown Layups

By Madeline Sepcaru

Many NHP students are excited about the anticipated return of sports. With less than a month to go until the start of winter sports, it is still unknown as to whether or not the season will commence. Back in August, Nassau County superintendents voted to postpone school sports until January 4, 2021. Since then, Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued that all high school sports in New York State will not start until then. However, with the rise in coronavirus cases, many have become unsure if athletes will have a winter sports season.

Source from @nhpathletics

The football field that was once filled with players is now left empty.

“The latest information I have for the winter season is that it is scheduled to start on January 4, 2021. It is a 47 day season that will end on February 26. The governor is only permitting moderate risk and low-risk sports to be played. Permitted sports include swimming, bowling, rifling, gymnastics, fencing, and indoor track. As of now, the governor is not permitting what he has determined to be high-risk sports to be played. High-risk sports include basketball, wrestling, and cheer. The rules for coaches, officials, and athletes would be to maintain social distancing when possible during practice, and to always wear a mask,” said superintendent Dr. Grossane.

Of course, there is always the possibility of a shutdown in the pandemic. Athletic Director Mr. Burke spoke about what would happen if the school went on lockdown.

“To my knowledge, if schools are closed, sports are shut down. Interscholastic athletics are an extension of the school day. If students are not allowed to come to the school for any type of instruction, then sports can not happen. We are swimming in uncharted waters and are trying to navigate the best we can. My office and coaches are fully planned for all seasons to take place so we are not scrambling at the last minute, and student-athletes should be doing the same. They should be meeting with the coaches when they hold meetings and should continue to stay in shape and work on their skills socially distanced, and safely. Athletes should make sure they have handed in their doctor's physicals along with the health history form with it claiming they want to participate in athletics. By doing all these things, all coaches and student-athletes will be ready to go if we can get a last-minute approval of things. We have been told we will hear something by December 31 for protocols and allowances of certain athletics,” said Mr. Burke.

We are swimming in uncharted waters and are trying to navigate the best we can...

Boys basketball coach Mr. Eustache conveyed the possible challenges going into the 2021 season.

“With a pandemic going on, there is always some concern. I think that Mr. Burke and the school district as a whole is taking the necessary precautions to make our season possible. We are going to have a more condensed game schedule. We are not playing any non-league games this year, so that will be five fewer games. Also, fewer practices will be held throughout the week to minimize contact, and masks will be worn by athletes and coaches. With all of that, I am looking forward to the season. I believe we have a great group this year to make a playoff push,” said Coach Eustache.

Senior triathlete Darla Petricca expressed how she feels about the idea of wearing a mask while playing.

“Wearing a mask during practices and games would be a struggle, but I believe we can adjust. If wearing a mask while we play means we can play, I would not mind it. If sports seasons were canceled I would be disappointed because I am a senior and it would be my last chance to play. However, if it truly is unsafe to play, it would be a good call to cancel the seasons,” said Petricca.

Athletes are keeping their fingers crossed, hoping that they will be able to play in a gladiator uniform again this school year.


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