Fall II: A Brand New Sports Season for BHS


Kenzie Vetorino, Staff Writer

There are many things this year that are being canceled or postponed, including the sports seasons at BHS. There is now another season in February, called Fall II for a few sports that the MIAA thought would be too dangerous to play this past fall season. This was the path BHS chose to take according to Athletic Director Scott Thomas. As of right now the only sports in fall two are football and volleyball says Thomas. There has, however, been talk of switching indoor track to fall two as well. Currently however volleyball and football are considered high risk sports and are still not allowed. “Hopefully, by fall II, the virus will have been significantly mitigated and would allow for high risk sports to play,” said Thomas.

As anticipated it is not going to be a normal season as these sports will not be allowed to travel off Cape or to the islands for games. There are many precautions that are going to be taken such as reduced game and practice schedules. There will also be no freshman teams this year. There is an issue with weather and football because this season starts in the middle of winter. “There will be  a restricted number of fans that will be allowed to attend,” said Thomas 

There are not final decisions on the winter sports moving to fall two. If basketball was to move then that would cause conflict with volleyball, because both teams have to use the same space. As was stated winter track is the only sport that has been considered to move. There is also a possibility for student athletes to choose between sports if they were in the same season. This is due to the MIAA saying you are only allowed to play one sport per season. It really all depends on the pandemic as it continues to accelerate modifications and cancellations are to be anticipated.  “All in all, we hope that we are able to safely compete this winter and in the fall II season,” said Thomas 

Some of the fall coaches agreed with this decision saying that it helped them develop the rules more carefully. The BHS football coach and health & wellness teacher Ross Jatkola said that this time helped his team bond and get stronger for the upcoming season in February. “Having our fall 1 workouts gave many kids an opportunity to see what the program is all about without any contact or added stress of playing games,”  said Jatkola. 

Though Jatkola has not heard any word on the football guidelines, he has  been gaining players. He says that this is due to kids not having a lot to do during quarantine.

I think we gained a lot of players because students are looking for something to do after having so much down time during quarantine,” said Jatkola 

    Jatkola also thinks that it was a good idea to move to fall II. He thinks that it would’ve set the team up for failure if they had chosen the regular fall season. He also thinks that it gave time to develop the new protocols. Jatkola also said that by developing the new protocols it will probably be somewhat close to the regular game of football. “For example, I know that field hockey had to play 7 on 7, I would not have been in favor of that for football,” said Jatkola  

Jatkolas players also are getting prepared for the upcoming season. Gibson Guimond, a junior, plays varsity football for BHS.  Guimond said that the plan that is in place for the upcoming season is a good one to try and get a season,though Guimond added that he wished football was in the original season. “It’s not just about me it’s about what is best for the community,” said Guimond.     

Guimond also said it will hopefully be safe by February to be able to play. He also thinks it is only fair that all athletes get their season in. This is especially for  seniors for whom it will be their last season at BHS. Guimond just wants to make the most out of his season and push through to the end, come this February. “No matter what happens we’ll give our best effort” said Guimond 

Football is not the only sport that is preparing for a fall II season. Volleyball also has a season come February. Coach Tom Turco said he was in favor of fall II, as it gave a chance for his athletes to get used to school. Turco also thought that by February they would be closer to a vaccine and that there is a lot more known about the virus now than there would have been known during the season.  “Plus they have not ruled out a State Tournament for Fall 2. Yet,” said Turco.

The guidelines for volleyball are very strict so that there is no spread of the virus. At first it was just going to be required that players wear masks, but Turco says that it was rejected by the MIAA. They wanted stricter precautions being put in place. So there was something called the covid line that is placed three feet away from the net, and only certain players will be allowed inside the line. The covid line rule will  be revisited based on feedback from Fall I coaches. “Social distance rules are enforced. High fives, close huddles during timeouts and close celebrations will result in yellow and red cards,” said Turco. 

Turco will have his team follow the precautions that have been put in place. These precautions will be enforced at games and practices. He says that both players have to be smart about the risks they take off the court. Turco wants to have his team on the court and as healthy as possible. “Wearing a mask and social distancing are important.” said Turco  

One of Turco’s varsity players, senior Caroline Kiehnau, was on board with fall II up until recently. She says that now there is word of yet another lockdown she is worried about the season. Kiehnau doesn’t think volleyball should have run in the original season.She also liked the thought of there being a sense of normalcy in fall II, because there are hopes of a championship tournament and possibly getting spectators. “I’m hoping it will feel more normal,” said Kienhau.

The volleyball team at BHS has been trying their best to make the most of the upcoming season. From the time Kienhau has seen the team in that gym working hard she thinks that the team will be ok. She also thinks that covid will have a big impact on the upcoming season. “We just need more practice time together,” said Kienhau.     

Kienhau said that there is no extra risk with playing and  that she will treat covid more like an injury.  Just as here is always a risk of getting hurt when playing a sport, Kienhau said there is a risk of getting sick anytime you step out of your house. She says if you follow the rules of the game you shouldn’t get hurt. It’s the same with the covid regulations, if you follow them, then you shouldn’t get sick. “I just hope it plays out in our favor,” said Kienhau.