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(Not) playing it day-by-day

With covid numbers rising, decisions to play to be made on a week-by-week basis





With schedule in place, Comets work towards opener / December 21, 2020

Athletic practices returned to Halifax County High School last week as varsity winter sports programs began the task of preparing for their January openers.

Before Thanksgiving the teams had been allowed to return to workouts. But following a surge in COVID-19 cases around that time, those conditioning sessions were halted.

With a Jan. 4 start date for the varsity basketball teams, varsity boys coach Sterling Williams said things are definitely different than in past seasons but the objective is the same; practice and play to win.

Williams said the first week back on the court went good. He said the team can now get in a traditional practice, but always follow COVID-19 safety standards.

“It went pretty good this week; we had a full week of tryouts, Williams said. “There’s no pods or anything like that; it’s full contact. We’re back to playing basketball now.

Williams stressed the safety components necessary for the Comets to have a safe and successful season are being practiced. The wearing of facemask and social distancing now functional parts of playing sports.

“What we’re asking the kids to do when they’re not competing is to have their mask up; when they are competing they can pull it down,” Williams said. “When they have water breaks they are in their chairs which are six feet apart from each other.

“So, we weren’t like congregating around the water cooler. We’re just doing things in a safe manner. Still it’s giving the kids that mental outlet.”

Williams said it was It was good to see the kids back. Williams you could tell the team really missed being away from the court and competition.

“You could tell they just enjoyed being there in the gym,” said Williams. “We coaches just really enjoyed interacting with them and being around them for a solid week.

“It felt good just to be back in there to see their faces. But at the same time doing it in a safe manner.”

Williams said the week of tryouts also went good. He said though jayvee isn’t practicing right now a couple of those guys will also be moving up.

Over the Christmas holiday players will have Christmas Eve and Christmas off. With the Jan. 4 start Williams said that will give them another full week of practice before competition. After having close to nine months off from sports, getting the players back in game-shape is at the top of the list now.

“As far as team bonding, they still looked like the team from last year,” Williams stated. “Still getting along with everybody. As far as the basketball you could see the rust. A little bit out of shape as far as conditioning goes.

“But we had expected that. We’re a little bit behind – and I say ‘a little’ sarcastically – We had those eight months, nine months off where we get those guys in shape, work on our offense and stuff but you can see it coming back to the guys.”

Last season after the Comets lost in the state quarterfinal round Williams said one area the team needed to work on was keeping their focus. He said with the shortened season, focus, will be a primary point.

“They’re really talking, they’re helping each other out,” Williams said. “It’s just about getting back in there. Continuing to work every day. But we keep telling them it has to be at an accelerated pace. Because we’re behind now.

“We can’t laugh and talk like we did and have as much fun during practice like we did last year but we’ve got to stay focused a little more on the things that we need to work on.

“I think it’s going good; you can see them each day get better, see them each day picking up the stuff that we did last year. You can see them getting back to it.”

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