High schools dealing with the pandemic as sports begin again

BRAINTREE, Mass. — Braintree High School varsity field hockey coach Amanda Scully is getting her team ready to start up their season during this pandemic.

“My biggest concern is that we can continue our season but our girls have already risen higher than I expected," said Scully on a rainy practice field at Braintree High.

Many Massachusetts high schools are about to kick off their fall sports seasons as they deal with the challenges of trying to do so during this pandemic.

“We have many daily challenges getting ready for competitive sports again," said Braintree Athletic Director Mike Denise. “Every student-athlete starts each day with a daily COVID screening. From there, our coaches are able to take attendance, making sure we can keep good contact tracing. With Braintree being remote learning right now, our building is off-limits so there’s no locker room access or use of bathrooms inside. We do everything outside including our athletic trainer creating a mobile station outside and we also have an isolation station just in case there are student-athletes who come down with symptoms.”

All of Braintree’s sports programs will play an abbreviated 10-game season facing geographical opponents. There are travel limitations with only two family members of each student-athlete allowed to be at games at this point.

The school has also created a “pandemic playbook” outlining all the protocols and guidelines that everyone has to follow to be able to make sports happen again.

As for how the kids and parents are handling all of this?

“The parents are appreciative of the playbook and most of the feedback has been positive," said Denise.

Coach Scully echos the same sentiments.

“I’m hearing positives. Last week after the girls worked through the logistics towards the end of the week there was a lot of positivity from the girls about improving themselves as players and reaching their goals and I don’t think we can ask for anything more from them right now.”

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