THE KINGSWOOD volleyball team works out on the softball field in the twilight last Thursday night. (Photo by Joshua Spaulding) (click for larger version)
September 03, 2020WOLFEBORO — Adjustments have been the name of the game for sports teams in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But as things have slowly worked their way back toward some sense of normalcy, local teams have been working hard to follow protocols put in place by the state and the school, and keep athletes and coaches safe.
One team that has had to make perhaps the biggest adjustment is the Kingswood volleyball team, which has seen its summer workouts move from indoors in the gymnasium to outdoors on the Kingswood softball field.
"We've been working three nights a week since July 15 and there have been some ups and downs," said coach Lynette Place. "Until last week, we were a lot more restricted.
"But, we're at the point now where we can do some scrimmages and some sort of games," Place continued. "The kids have shown a little more excitement."
Athletics Director Aaron House had the grounds crew paint two volleyball courts on the softball field, one on the dirt infield and one on the outfield. To start, they are using an outdoor volleyball net, but Place noted that they were going to get the standard volleyball poles from the middle school and use a more traditional net.
Place noted that the summer workouts are not a mandatory thing but she's had a good turnout for the past month as students slowly bring themselves back to a sense of normalcy.
"They need a sense of normalcy," Place said. "The freshmen are consistently here every day and you can tell they want that normalcy."
While official practices will start on Sept. 8, games at Kingswood are likely not going to start until after Oct. 1. Additionally, the Knights will be playing a more regionalized schedule this year, playing teams that are located nearby instead of exclusively teams in their division.
But she noted that no matter what, it's important that the kids follow all the guidelines and protocols put in place to keep everyone safe.
"If the kids are smart and do what they're asked to do, it's a step in the right direction," Place said. "They've been great about following all of the guidelines.
"The kids have been really receptive, the parents have been really receptive," she noted. "So far, I can't complain. They are doing what is respectful."
Place pointed out that the chance to practice outside and do something a little different is also making things a little more fun and the kids have been having a good time.
But Place also noted that what is a good time right now, might actually become a reality.
"Get used to it in case we are out here for games," she told the girls as they went through drills and scrimmages in the Wolfeboro twilight.
Official practices for the fall season are scheduled to begin on Sept. 8 and the New Hampshire Interscholastic Association has set Sept. 18 as the official start day for volleyball games.
Sports Editor Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 279-4516, ext. 155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.