Local high schools approve spring sports, readying for season

  • ConVal has approved spring sports for the upcoming season. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 3/18/2021 8:09:01 AM

The ConVal School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to approve spring sports with fewer restrictions than were required in the fall and winter seasons.

“We are excited to be able to have our spring sports have pretty full seasons this year,” Superintendent Kimberly Rizzo Saunders said during the board meeting Tuesday.

The approval means that all four local public high schools are all in on NHIAA athletic competition this spring.

Wilton-Lyndeborough plans to field baseball, softball, track and girls’ tennis, as usual, Athletic Director Brice Miller said. Home fans will be allowed to attend games at WLC, but no away fans will be permitted.

Conant has approved all their sports – baseball, softball, track and tennis – for the spring and is expected to carry over the same protocols they used for fall sports while limiting attendance to home fans only, although Activities Director Heather Lindstad said Wednesday that the district has not yet finalized all of the details. As of now, the season would kick off April 13 with baseball and softball games at WLC.

Mascenic’s school board approved spring sports at a meeting on March 1. Boys’ volleyball, track, softball and baseball are all good to go and will operate under NHIAA guidelines, Athletic Director Bradley Miller said Wednesday, although he is still waiting for further guidance from the NHIAA before the specifics can be finalized. Boys’ volleyball is the only indoor sport at any school this spring and will follow the same protocols as fall girls’ volleyball and winter basketball. Visiting teams’ fans are still unlikely to be allowed at indoor or outdoor events at Mascenic.

During the fall season, the NHIAA did not require student-athletes to wear masks during outdoor sports; this spring, the NHIAA council is expected to continue the mask mandate that applied to winter sports.

“I’m pretty sure we’re going to see that same recommendation come through for the spring, even though it’s an outdoor season,” ConVal Athletic Director Jon Reitnauer said. Reitnauer said the decision was voted on unanimously by all the division’s athletic directors, and he thought that decision would stand following Friday’s meeting of the NHIAA council.

The Cougars will undergo the most drastic changes this spring, as the split cohort system and full-family remote learning for student-athletes will be removed. In the fall, ConVal did not participate in NHIAA competition during the regular season; teams still practiced, but were split into Blue and Gold cohorts, which meant teammates who lived in Antrim and Peterborough might not see each other for the entire season. In the winter, ConVal participated in interscholastic competition but required student-athletes – as well as any siblings who attend ConVal schools or parents who work in the district – to remain in remote learning for the entirety of the season. Several winter season coaches reported that restriction was too much for some of their players, who instead elected not to come out for the team or practiced with the team over the holiday break until remote learning kicked in. Both of those restrictions have been lifted for the spring season.

ConVal’s approval included the ability to adjust restrictions should new scientific guidance be handed down.

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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