EASTHAM — Nauset Regional High School junior Kurt Thomas has kept himself busy these last few weeks preparing for the spring baseball season.
“I’m actually very lucky — I have a batting cage in my backyard,” he said. Thomas is a left-handed pitcher for the Warriors and also plays first base and third base. The junior captain said he thinks this year’s team has a pretty good shot at winning a state title if it gets the chance to play.
The Mass. Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) has announced a new tentative structure for the spring sports season. The plan is for teams to begin practicing together on May 4 with games starting on May 11 — at the earliest.
Schedules have also been shortened.
“Things are changing each day, but we have to continue to work to have a plan in place,” Nauset Athletic Director John Mattson said via email. He and other Cape and Islands athletic directors met virtually last week to reschedule the spring season after the MIAA announcement.
Although Thomas and his teammates have been able to conduct home workouts, that’s harder for some athletes.
Junior Michela Galazzi is on the spring sailing team. “It’s pretty difficult to train without having the ability to be out on the water,” Galazzi said via email. She has instead been studying film from last season and familiarizing herself with the rule book to strategize for the upcoming season.
Sailing coach Alexis Mathison said the holdup could actually be good for the team’s future. They have been trying to designate sailing as a fall sport instead of a spring one, because the weather is usually better in the fall, and student athletes are fresh off summer sailing.
“It would be a good opportunity for us to salvage this season if we could,” Mathison said. Right now, it’s unclear whether spring or even summer sailing can go on.
The girls track and field team is coming off a successful winter season, finishing first in the Division 4 Championships. But athletes haven’t had access to the track at the school since it was closed.
Boys and girls track and field coach Moira Nobili said, since coaches cannot be in contact with the kids, training will be a test of the students’ own motivation.
Track and field is an individual sport, so athletes can run on roads or other trails on their own if they can get outside. But Nobili pointed out that it’s difficult for the throwers and hurdlers because they don’t have access to the equipment they need.
Coaches know the situation is tough for students. Nobili said, “The greatest thing would be just for the kids to get back together and do something they love — particularly the seniors.”
The waiting is hard on coaches, too, said boys lacrosse coach Jesse Peno. “I’m looking forward to being able to get back out there with the kids,” he said, “and that we get them back to a little bit of normalcy.”
The word “heartbreak” was used a few times by student athletes when asked how they would feel if the spring season were canceled.
“Every senior looks forward to playing on Senior Day,” said baseball captain Chris Beach. A right-handed pitcher who’s been practicing his throwing at home, Beach added that as one door closes, another one opens. He is looking forward to playing summer baseball for Team Cape Cod and will play at Salve Regina University next year.