Football and cheerleading have been pushed off from this fall to a “sandwich” season in February.
There won’t be any Friday night lights or Thanksgiving Day football this coming fall.
The MIAA Board of Directors has moved football and fall cheerleading back to the spring in a season it’s calling “Fall II,” that will run from Feb. 22 to April 25. Both are deemed high-risk sports.
“It is the best case scenario for our players and our seniors to get a season in,” said Whitman-Hanson Regional High football head coach Mike Driscoll. “Obviously, we would like life to be normal and have a regular fall season, but that is not the case right now. We will make the best out of the current situation and our guys will be hungry and ready to go come the end of February.”
W-H cheerleading head coach Alyssa Pietrasik also understands the move.
“We are disappointed that we won’t have our fall season, there’s something special and unique about those Friday nights under the lights and the extreme competitiveness of fall cheer,” she said. “But in reality, our day will come when the world is a safer place. Right now we need to buckle down and keep our distance so that we can get to business come February. But I will say that I can’t wait for that day to come.”
The regular fall season, which will include soccer, gymnastics, cross country, field hockey, girls’ volleyball, and boys’ golf, will start on Sept. 18.
The Patriot League will play its games in a bubble, which means schools will only play games against teams in their respective division (Keenan or Fisher). W-H is in the Keenan Division with Duxbury, Marshfield Plymouth North Silver Lake and Quincy. However, there are a few executions: boys’ soccer will face North Quincy, while field hockey and girls soccer’ and girls’ volleyball will play one game against Notre Dame Academy (of Hingham). The league will conclude play with the Patriot Cup, which will end no later than Nov. 20. There won’t be a state tournament.
“This isn’t really about championships, it’s not about banners in the gym,” said W-H athletic director Bob Rodgers at last Friday’s school committee meeting. “It’s about giving kids participation — allowing them to be part of something.”