Unfortunately, that is the reality that the Christian Brothers Academy (as well as most spring teams across the country) is currently dealing with at the moment.
"We got four practices in and then, traditionally, after that first Thursday of practice, the coaches and seniors go out to dinner," said CBA Head Coach Rich Scully. "We had our dinner on Thursday and then got to school on Friday and by the end of the day Friday everything had been put on hold. It was good that we had that dinner, but now we are in a little bit of a limbo."
CBA's captains for this spring are fift... year varsity player and second year captain Freddie Smith, three year varsity player Jon Rollo, four year varsity player Nick Mattice, and transfer Sean Swenson. All of them met with Scully that Thursday unaware of what the future held for them when they got to school that next day.
"Those guys are such great leaders and have done a good job in the offseason of keeping the guys connected," said Scully. "When we went to the dinner, we were assuming we were going to practice on Friday. I have seven senior lacrosse players that are going to play in college. The guys are pretty focused on lacrosse."
In the mean time, while quarantine and social distancing has everyone on high alert, Scully and his captains are being sure to keep in touch with the team and keep them focused on the eventual start of the season.
"First and foremost we want everyone to be healthy," said Scully. "We are teaching from online. Our classes have gone forward and the guys have a schedule so we resumed classes. We've had some interactions with the guys on a some what daily basis. Group texts and group chats or reaching out to the kids individually and trying to keep them pumped. All of them are saying the same thing. They can't wait to get back at it."
With any sort of break, the concern of fitness and conditioning is there. Will players be ready after spending time on the couch the last few weeks? Will time need to be allocated during practice on conditioning over skills specific drills or clears? Will the guys be ready come competition? For CBA, Scully doesn't have those concerns. He knows his players are still running and working.
"We have so many multiple sport athletes. The guys go through football, and then hockey season, or whatever it is, and then this is the last one in the spring."
"On the varsity level, those guys have experienced lacrosse. They've been around the game for awhile and they know what it takes. I'm sure the guys are well aware of that and the couple guys I have talked to said today that he was running everyday. They are definitely in tune with that side of the game. You want to be in your best shape to be the most effective."
Scully expects his guys to be conditioned and ready to go for whenever they can pick up again. Most of Scully's players are multiple sport athletes and he expects them to put as much of an emphasis on lacrosse as they do their other sports. Freddie Smith, Drew Pemrick, and Sean Swenson are just a small sample size of the multisport athletes on the team.
Scully remains positive that the season will happen. Section II has halted all competition until April 19 and the New York State Public High School Athletic Association recently announced they will be cancelling winter championships and not keep postponing until things have settled down.
But, if the spring season were to be cancelled, the ripple effects will be felt past just this spring. Sophomores and juniors lose a year of recruiting. Seniors lose their last chance at a section and state title. The effect of the coronavirus cancellations will be felt past this spring.
"Isn't it ironic? Now without a college season all those coaches would be at high school games," quipped Scully. "You always want the guys to be developing and the more you play the more you grow. There are a lot of driven kids out there who are hitting the wall, staying on their cardio, and hopefully will be able to step up as soon as we are ready to go. In the landscape of Section II, there are a lot of good lacrosse players."
Scully has stayed connected with other teams in the section to not only pick their brains, but to check in on everyone's well being.
"It's a small community so we do talk quite a bit," said Scully. "Everyone I have spoken to has been hoping for the best and staying positive."
Scully hopes to be able to compete against the talent of Section II and offers a suggestion that would be quite fitting to embrace the local talent of Section II.
"I hesitate to say this, but we have a lot of time on our hands so we do a lot of thinking, I would love to see something along the lines of firing games up on May 1 and play through June 15 and not have a state championship this year," said Scully. "Try to get your local stuff in during those six weeks."
"Think of some of the teams you have in the area. You get to play a Niskayuna, you get to play a Shenendehowa, Shaker. Those are really high level games. They are all high level games. We don't have to go out of the section to get really competitive lacrosse. If we had to accelerate our season, there would be a lot of travel involved."
Niskayuna won the Class A State Championship in 2015. The only Section II state champion since 1977.
At the end of the day, there is no perfect answer to what will exactly happen when, or if, the spring season happens. Play for section titles and not a state title and the schools who are competitive at the state level every year will be disappointed. Cut the regular season short and try and fit in your spring state championships and risk alienating your smaller schools. The answers are not clear, but overall for Scully and CBA lacrosse, their main focus right now is staying safe in the madness.
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