Greylock to Move Forward with Winter Sports Season


Photo courtesy of Rob Matthews

While the future of the 2020 winter sports season is still unclear, there is a possible plan for the upcoming season. Athletic Director Lindsey von Holtz, the MIAA Covid Task Force and Board of Directors, and the School Committee have come up with a plan outlining the different rules and regulations for this upcoming winter season. However, now that Mount Greylock has gone fully remote, these regulations are subject to change. But what is this current plan, and how was it created?

Recently, Von Holtz proposed her plan to the School Committee, which was approved 6-1 in a vote. The plan detailed that there will only be four competitive varsity teams: boy’s and girl’s basketball and boy’s and girl’s Nordic Skiing. Practices will start on December 14th, and contests will (presumably) start on January 8th. 

Ice hockey has been pushed off the table, as the only schools in the county who are able to host are not offering it this season, and Mount Greylock did not want students sitting on a bus for hours in order to play with other active teams. Swimming is also not currently available for Mount Greylock students.

Many sports are actually being moved to a newly created Fall-2 season. This season will take place between the Winter and Spring seasons, from March 5 to April 30. Sports moved to Fall-2 include football, volleyball, and soccer.

But this plan isn’t the only element affecting winter sports. The MIAA, the MIAA Covid Task Force, the Department of Education, the EEA (Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs), and the individual sports committees from the MIAA came together to create specific modifications for the season. For example, there will be no jump-ball at the start of the basketball season. They also decided that skiing waves will be 3 minutes apart at races.

A number of other changes have been made to the season as well. Nordic ski races will be dual meets, just like cross-country in the fall. State meets have been eliminated. Mount Greylock may even play the same school in both basketball and skiing each weekend, in order to minimize possible contamination. 

However, nothing is definite. “We’re going to have to be really flexible as the season goes on,” said Von Holtz“Even if we are hoping for one thing, we have to realize there are going to be some adjustments this season depending on how everything is going.” 

Von Holtz says there is no real answer to how the decision to go remote could affect winter sports. She will be in constant contact with Superintendent Jake McCandless and Principal Jake Schutz in order to monitor the situation. “It’s not a guaranteed stop,” she said, “but it is likely that the more we go remote, and the more reasons we have to go remote, will create a pause in any athletic practices.” 

However, winter sports remain a strong possibility. While staying safe from the virus is the Athletic Department’s number one priority, keeping students active is definitely number two. According to a recent survey conducted by the Athletic Department, 50 students are interested in playing basketball and 72 are interested in Nordic skiing. With these numbers, it is clear that winter sports are still greatly desired. As long as they can be conducted in a Covid-safe environment, they should commence. 

“Our first goal,” said Von Holtz, “is the ability to practice, the ability to get kids after school running around, playing around, skiing if there’s snow, and providing an opportunity for the students to develop some of their skills.”