School sports kick into off-season gear

Through the direction of coaches and input from athletes, off-seasons have been implemented in various school sports.


***Intently focused…**Thinking about his throw, senior Aonghas Evanick prepares his throwing process to launch his shot. Evanick has been undefeated in two of his three events this season, and prepares for his college season next year.*

As a multitude of school sports seasons have ended, coaches and athletes want to stay in shape for the next season and improve skills and strength.
According to head football coach Edward Gallagher, the football team has a lot planned for the off-season already. Football members have been lifting in the weight room for over a month.
“[However,] we can only have 15 people in the weight room at a time,” Gallagher said.
To get around this restriction, the footballers have also been using the auxiliary gym and working out outside.
According to Gallagher, the football team also has planned a mini camp, which consists of eight practices. Afterwards, the team will practice as teams of seven against each other, otherwise known as seven on seven.
The football team is not the only team working on their off season, however.
According to head boys track and field coach John Donahue, “Most athletes who do winter track also do spring track.”
Donahue said that in this sense, winter is the off-season for spring track athletes.
According to assistant track and field coach and throwing coach Krysten Momsen, the throwers off-season is still in the works, but athletes are encouraged to work on their own.
“We’re hoping to have some off-season throwing sessions over the summer, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet,” Momsen said.
Momsen understands that many track athletes also participate in other sports as well, and encourages off-season work for other sports.
“I feel like some athletes are pressured to feel like they must specialize and concentrate in one sport and one sport alone,” Momsen said. “In my experience, that promotes burnout and injury. The vast majority of professional athletes also participated in multiple sports.”
Donahue and Momsen do not know what other teams are doing for off-season work.
According to assistant wrestling coach Billy McGinley, the wrestling team coaches strongly encourage wrestlers to lift at least three times a week.
“Practices are ‘optional,’” McGinley said.
McGinley said the previous season showed that the wrestling team lacked in strength. Because of this, lifting is the team’s main priority currently.
McGinley wants as many wrestlers to get into the weight and wrestling rooms as possible. This includes eighth graders from the middle school, as well.
Due to the small number of members on the wrestling team, room capacity limits are of no concern.
According to wrestling team member Tyler Geiger, the main goals for his off-season consist of cardio work, lifting and working on wrestling skills.
According to head water polo coach Joseph Hay, “We practice after school twice per week. Practice lasts about two hours and we generally have practice segments to work on individual skills like passing, shooting, and ball handling as well as team offensive and defensive strategies.”
“We participate in a spring water polo league until early June as a club team,” Hay said. “Then we take a short break and begin our summer season.”
Hay considers the team to have been lucky when it comes to COVID-19.
“We have been relatively fortunate.” Hay said. “We always screen all of our players for signs of Covid before games or practice to keep things as safe as possible.”
Hay wants to keep the off-season relaxed and fun.
“Our off-season is completely optional. We try to keep the off-season low pressure, relaxed, and fun. Athletes need breaks from high pressure varsity situations.”