Delayed Fall Sports Leave Spring Sports With Limited Time

In fall of 2020, VHSL decided that because of the COVID pandemic, there would not be sports taking place in the fall. They later revised the plan, facilitating that the fall sports season would be played in late winter to early spring time. In other words, February to April. This seemed like a great idea; all sports would have the opportunity to play with only small compromises, like shorter seasons. So far, fall sports have started up with no major problems and the coaches and players are very happy to have the opportunity to be on the field. Furthermore, spring sports coaches and players are also happy to have the chance to play this year.

“Once the football season was canceled for fall I didn’t think we would get to play this year. However, I’m very happy I was wrong. Our season has started off better then expected,” expressed JV football player Will Beach.

“Last year, we only got to play one scrimmage before we got shut down, and it was really hard on our team, especially our seniors. So we are just so grateful to play, but the circumstances do make it a little challenging, but we will make it work!” said coach Aubri Buzzo

However with the good always comes the bad. With spring sports being pushed back to later in spring, their seasons may end after some seniors graduate. With official spring sports practices and tryouts starting April 12th, the season could be played well into early summer. This could cause some concerns with heat affecting how athletes perform and could even become dangerous, depending on the weather.

“I’ve played during the summer many times, and it is a very rough experience. Especially on the extremely hot days, you wear out quicker and it almost feels like you haven’t  been training. Even though it sounds cool to have the chance to play in the summer for school soccer, I’m scared it could affect mine or a teammate’s energy levels,” said varsity soccer player Anthony Mathis.

On its own, heat exhaustion is not considered a major health concern. If left untreated, however, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke and further complications, including brain damage and organ failure. In rare cases, when heat exhaustion is accompanied by intense exercise or other medical conditions, it may cause a serious health risk, according to experts at Medical News Today.

Another concern is the lack of pre-season. Normally, spring sports have a quite long pre-season to condition and get ready for the season. This normally starts in November, as the fall sports are ending. However, with the seasons all pushed back, spring sports are still struggling to find field space. Furthermore, with the amount of sports happening right now between fall and spring, it is a challenge to get players into the weight room. However, fall sports are given priority, since their season is happening currently, which in turn makes it very difficult for any spring sports to train properly.

“With the change in the order of the seasons, fall sports are occurring right now, so we do not have consistent field space. Also with the limited capacity numbers in the weight room, in-season athletes take priority, so we are respecting their space and wishing them success, but it does mean we will not have a typical pre-season program due to the nature of our sport and safety protocol,” Coach Buzzo continued.

The final concern is the possibility of overlapping seasons. If one of the fall sports goes into post season, or the state tournament, the season will conflict with spring sports. This could cause some major problems with spring sports. The field space will stay limited, making it hard for everyone to get the practice that they need. Spring sports will have to work harder then ever, after barely having a post season and the risk of even having limited practice time at the start of the season.

“We haven’t even had one practice yet, and the season is getting pretty close. I’m really excited to get on the field and start working, but at this point I’m not even sure when that will be. However I do wish the fall sports well. It is just frustrating that we haven’t been given a chance to get ready for our season,” said multi-sport athlete Tyler Cruiz.

Even though all sports had their chance at a brief season this year, scheduling changes have heavily affected spring sports and their seasons in particular. However, the players and coaches stay optimistic and are just excited to be on the field after they didn’t have a season at all last year. They even think they will be ready for the season with enough hard work and are ready to put forth maximum effort.

“Honestly I have little care for how the season was affected or the small details or rules we have to follow I just want to play! I’m ready to put in as much work as possible and get ready for this season. I have a good feeling about [the season] and I’m ready to bring home some wins,” concluded junior athlete Federic Ortiz.