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Spring practice opens after long pause / April 14, 2021

Student-athletes and coaches returned to action on Monday at Bluestone High School as spring sports tryouts and practices got under way.

Bluestone is hoping for enough participation to field teams in baseball, softball, boys and girls track and field, and boys and girls soccer this spring. BHS Athletics Director Justin Kirkland said conditioning sessions leading up to this week went well and he is looking for that to carry over as the season begins.

Girls and boys soccer are continuing conditioning work every Monday through Thursday; baseball every Tuesday and Thursday; and softball every Monday through Wednesday, Kirkland said.

Track and field was the only sport not to start conditioning drills prior to spring break, but that changed this week also.

Kirkland noted one of the biggest challenges to getting sports up and running is having enough student-athletes participate this spring. More than a few students moved on to jobs during their absence from school and sports due to COVID-19.

“Tryouts [began] Monday, April 12,” Kirkland said. “I am hopeful that we will have enough athletes come out to field all spring teams, but we won’t know for sure until we can gauge the turnout for tryouts, so the 13th or 14th.”

Kirkland noted the free physicals offered by Sentara Health in Clarksville at the end of March were well attended by both high and middle school students. Anyone who plans on trying out for a spring sports team must have a VHSL-approved physical in place before practicing.

“I want to thank Mary Beth Yancey, Sheree Madison and all of the wonderful nurses and doctors at Sentara Family in Clarksville for doing the free physical night for us back on March 30,” said Kirkland. “We had a decent turnout of spring athletes from the middle and high school level. We hope to do two more over the summer.”

Bluestone Middle School athletics director Crystal Chandler, said tryouts and workouts began Monday and she was very pleased with the turnout.

“It was a beautiful day to start," she said.

“BMS has filled all spring coaching positions and looks to have enough participants for all teams, including golf, baseball, softball and boys and girls track.”

Golf is normally a fall sport, but it was moved to spring this season to give members of the golf team an opportunity to play. This is only for the middle school as fall and winter sports seasons in Mecklenburg County schools were canceled this year.

Chandler said while fans will be allowed at the games, the school would be following COVID-19 safety guidelines — requiring masks, social distancing, and correct change at the gate part of the new procedures on attendance. BMS has relied on the Virginia High School League’s safety protocols for its return to sports.

“We will be following strict VHSL COVID guidelines for practices and games,” Chandler said. “Next week will kick off our first games and meets.

“For BMS home games, spectators must bring exact change of $5 for admission, chairs (due to bleachers being blocked off), and will be required to wear mask while maintaining appropriate social distancing.”

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