RV’s track team faces hardships, but vows to save their season

Additional restrictions from the state will make this season challenging to say the least

Adrienne Austin, Sports Writer

The tiring and infamous COVID pandemic has yet again caused an unusual season in sports. The indoor track season has been put on hold, but the team now preparing for its return. 

The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) has approved formal practices for February 1 and is allowing competitions to start on February 16. Although the season is coming back, it will not be the same as previous seasons. Similar protocols of the fall seasons will be carried out into the track season as well. RV Track Coach Eric Warren is getting ready for the season while players are on edge waiting to get up and running again. 

“This track season we will be welcomed with a bunch of new protocols that the team will have to follow,” said Coach Warren. “New protocols are the obvious wearing face masks, trying to stay socially distant when not doing athletic activities, limited amount of athletes on the busses to meets and filling out daily and weekly [COVID-19] screening forms.”

Additionally, the NJSIAA recently stated in their previous statement that meets in indoor buildings can not exceed a certain number. The guidelines state that “If the above exception applies, the number of individuals still may not exceed 25 percent of the capacity of the room in which it takes place, or 150 persons, whichever is less.” That means that this season the team will not have the usual support from family and friends in the stands. 

The RV Track team has to push through those circumstances in order to keep everyone safe. But unfortunately, it is not as simple as it seems. With the new protocols, the number of teammates now have to be limited, which means that not everyone will get the season that they hoped for. 

“The biggest [challenge] for us is that for the first time in my coaching career we will be holding a tryout week and making cuts to our boys and girls rosters,” said Coach Warren. “This is significant because I have been coaching at RV going on my 9th season and 4th as the girls team head coach and we have never made cuts before.”

All of the new protocols and requirements can be a lot to take in, but it is nothing too big for the track team to handle. They have had successful seasons in the past and they are heading towards the right track to have another one. The team continues to have talented athletes including the girls’ team senior captions Alyssa Leak, Abby Boggs and Sheriyah Nutt. Together, the team hopes to push through the challenges and there is a bright future ahead. 

Even though Coach Warren doesn’t know what the future holds, he still continues to bring a positive attitude. “While going through all this I realized how much my RV Track Family means to me,” said Warren. “We have an opportunity to make history at RV in being one of or the first-ever teams in school history to win back to back state championships. We are one of the top three programs in the state of New Jersey these past few years and I honestly believe this is my best team yet. So I look forward to having a very safe, but satisfying season at the end of the day. These girls deserve all the accolades that are coming their way and I look forward to them showing everyone what they are capable of.”