Fall River High School Sports Teams Navigate Weird COVID Season
FALL RIVER – Durfee boys head coach Joe DaCruz asks his team to play every game like it’s their last.
And who can blame him. In today’s world, his statement is just a fact.
“It has certainly been difficult for the kids, and obviously for the coaches as well,” DaCruz said of the effects of COVID. “It’s a little disheartening when the games are called off.”
The Nightmare is back for the second consecutive season for high school indoor winter sports as teams in the zone attempt to navigate and rearrange schedules throughout the latest wave of COVID.
Last year, Massachusetts high school teams experienced a shortened Winter and Fall II season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There were no tournament matches. Playoff games resumed in the spring.
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DaCruz’s squad have seen two of their games postponed so far this season. But compared to other teams in the state, the pair of canceled games is not that bad.
The Bishop Connolly hoop programs have suspended their winter season before Christmas until after the holidays.
All players and coaches must wear masks when playing and training. Everyone who attends matches should do the same.
Many other towns in the north and west of Mass. are struggling to get back on track after the start of the season has been postponed.
Schools in Dartmouth and New Bedford recently halted games and training activities due to the growing number of new cases of COVID in their area.
The Diman women’s basketball team played their first game of the season in two years, stopping to start this season.
In the past week alone, 17 events have been reported around Greater Fall River.
“I hope we can all weather this storm,” said Somerset Berkley hockey coach Kevin Snyder, whose team is recovering two players who were in COVID protocol.
The Durfee School Department recently released a statement that only home spectators can attend matches in limited numbers over the next two weeks. Home events will be broadcast live.
Durfee sporting director Brad Bustin has said he hopes things will calm down with the reduction in the number of fans in the building. He said each student-athlete will receive a limited number of pass out tickets.
No one knows what the future holds.
The teams are working hard to get things done this winter.
DaCruz said he hopes this season is as normal as possible.
“What I keep saying to guys in training: keep training and be ready,” he said. “We can only control what we can control. If the games are called off we will have more time to prepare. You never know what tomorrow will bring.”
Herald News and Taunton Daily Gazette sports editor Steven Sanchez can be reached at [email protected] You can follow him on Twitter at @Chezsports. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Herald News today.