March 25, 2021 — Spring sports at NMH are underway! Lacrosse, track and field, Ultimate Frisbee, tennis, the outdoor team, boys’ volleyball, baseball, softball, rowing, and golf athletes have begun practices and training, and Athletic Director Debby Ghezzi announced recently that NMH is striving to arrange limited and safe interscholastic varsity competition over the course of four Saturdays: April 10 and 24, and May 1 and 8.
NMH Assistant Athletic Director Nicole Matos said, “We have been committed to finding opportunities for athletic competition all year, but it was especially important for us to give our spring athletes a chance to have a more traditional season since they weren’t able to participate last year.”
Competition will be arranged with several schools that share the same rigorous safety protocols as NMH, such as Deerfield Academy, Williston, Andover, and Wilbraham and Monson. The “bubble-to-bubble” athletics competition – for outdoor varsity sports only – will include a COVID-19 testing regimen for all players, coaches, and referees. All team members will be tested twice during the week of each “bubble-to-bubble” competition, and the schools that NMH competes against will adhere to the same testing protocols. To further mitigate the risk of exposure to the coronavirus, masks will be required, spectators will not be permitted at any of the contests, and visiting teams will not enter any NMH buildings. The competitions will be livestreamed for spectators.
Kara Walker, head coach of NMH’s track and field program, said, “We have not competed since 2019, so our seniors are the most excited. The Class of 2021 is very athletic and competitive, so it will be fun to see how much they have improved since they were sophomores, and there’s a strong chance we’ll have an undefeated season.”
Rob Cross, head coach of boys’ varsity lacrosse, said his team has focused on developing a positive mindset in addition to their training efforts, and he and the players are confident and excited heading into competition. “It has been a long time since our lacrosse players have had a chance to take on a team in a different jersey,” he said. “These guys are chomping at the bit to get out there and make the community proud on game day.”
Izzy Campbell ’21, a member of the girls’ varsity rowing team, said the in-person competitions are especially meaningful since this will be the second year in a row that the New England Rowing Championships have been canceled. “But I’m looking forward to seeing new faces on the Connecticut River and competing against them, and I know my teammates feel the same way,” she said.
“I know how important game days are for athletes — they bring us together and strengthen our team dynamics,” said Campbell Sy ’21, captain of the girls’ varsity lacrosse team. “We’ll be able to do our pre-game rituals and celebrate as a team, but mostly I look forward to wearing my NMH jersey one last time before I graduate this spring.”