Pandemic Winter Sports Update


Photo by Lisa Elizabeth

Cogswell Handling the Puck

Kenzie Vetorino, Staff Writer

This year’s sports seasons are anything but normal and there have been a lot of changes made to the sports. New guidelines that are being put in place and many challenges being faced. The winter season is only having four sports compete, basketball, ice hockey, gymnastics, and swimming. Both boys and girls teams are competing but girls hockey only has a varsity team. Though the teams have only played in one game or had one meet, they are still excited for the season to get going.    

Scott Thomas, the Barnstable High school athletic director, said that the rosters will be smaller and there will be fewer games scheduled. There will also be a limit on practice time and a lot of game modifications. Thomas also said that at the end of the season there will be a league tournament for all the teams to participate in. “Students will not be allowed to attend games, and parents will not be able to watch games at away venues, ” said Thomas. 

“I was disappointed that we couldn’t start the season on time, but I understood and I was prepared for interruptions this season, so after waiting it out the past few weeks,” said Chris Botolino, a senior in the boys basketball team. 

Junior, Laura Cogswell, plays on the girls varsity team. Her and her team are excited to get back on the ice this winter.  Cogswell is very thankful to be playing especially in these very unusual years. “I look forward to be playing this year because we have an awesome group and the best coaches,” said Cogswell. 

The places teams travel to have also been modified. Barnstable has adopted a policy which prohibits team travel over the bridge or allowing teams to come to our venue from over the bridge. They are also not traveling to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket. There were complications with winter track with these modifications made. Winter track meets are held at Wheaton College or the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. Since BHS teams are not traveling over the bridge at this time the regular winter season would not be possible for Barnstable. “We also do not have a safe place for our winter track athletes to train at school,” said Thomas 

 Coaches also preparing for the upcoming season, Alik Taylor, the boys basketball head coach at BHS, is excited to get his boys back on the court. The players must now wear masks while playing and coaches have to find new plays to run that ensure social distancing. Many student-athletes will now have that chance to play the game they really enjoy.  The seniors will have an opportunity to play their last winter season of their high school career. “With the world going through ‘The Rona’ pandemic, we are experiencing changes to our daily way of life, hopefully just temporarily,” said Taylor.

Basketball is a contact sport and players are limited to being 6-feet apart as much as possible. It will be a challenge for officials to officiate the game.  It’s already tough to officiate and adding more rules such as masks and social distancing makes it more difficult. “ There will be many other challenges with the modifications, but we will adjust because we want to play, coach, and officiate,” said Taylor.

Botolino said it’s been hard to train with all the gyms closed but he still managed to stay in shape for the upcoming season. Botolino looks forward to being Captain the and having a bigger role as a player. “I’m excited for the upcoming season despite how different It’s going to be,” said Botolino.

Cogswell thinks it will be definitely different, but they are so lucky to be able to even have a season this year. She has a lot of faith in how here coaches will handle the season this year. She wouldn’t want to play for anyone else because to her Coach Nugnes has always been so supportive and committed to the team. Cogswell is very glad that hockey took place in winter instead of fall 2. There was talk of moving hockey. “I know that we are going to have a great season,” said Cogswell. 

The winter sports are now underway there already have been positive COVID cases on the boys basketball team. All the other sports have been able to not have any exposures however. Botolino does not think that the delay will be a setback. “As long as we are still able to play all 12 games this season,” said Botolino. 

 Though the boys lost their first game, 57-43, against Nauset High School on Friday, January 22. They still have 11 games to go to make it a good season. Their last game was Tuesday, January, 26 against Nantucket High School. The boys won the game 55-49.  “So after waiting it out the past few weeks, I’m ready to get back to playing,” said Botolino