After being cut short last year by COVID-19, local school athletes are finally able to get back to the field for a full season of spring sports. School districts are optimistic about starting the season as strongly and safely as possible, and practices began early last week.
“We’re happy to be back after having last year completely gone” said Doug Wherley, Athletic Director at Conewago Valley School District (CVSD).
Wherley and his counterpart Casey Thurston, Athletic Director at Gettysburg Area School District (GASD) said the spring sports season would follow common safety practices with masking and social distancing guidelines.
For both schools, spring sports include softball, baseball, boys tennis, boys and girls lacrosse, track, boys indoor volleyball, boys and girls junior high soccer, and indoor junior high volleyball.
Schools are expecting to hold both league and non-league games as well as league championships. “After not having a season last year they never even got the chance to do such a thing” said Thurston, adding she is thrilled that athletes will now have the opportunity to participate in all competitions.
Volleyball players will wear masks at all times since the sport is played inside. Outdoor sports athletes are also expected to wear masks, with the exception of boys lacrosse players while competing, due to the need for helmets and mouth guards. Baseball and softball players will wear masks but, if players stay at least six feet away from one another they may pull down their masks. We want to be “as normal as we can be,” said Wherley.
Home and visiting spectators may attend games, but must wear masks while indoors. “The kids and the spectators have been great,” said Thurston.
Conewago Valley started off last year with a strong boys track and girls and boys lacrosse teams and are expected to be competitive this season. The Gettysburg baseball team started off very strong in 2020 and were looking like state championship material before being cut short last spring.
Academics at both schools are running on a hybrid A/B learning schedule but there are hopes schools will fully open sometime in April. Having the full student body present every day would make it easier for athletes to attend practices and games regularly.