Afternoons in the Prettyman Gymnasium are becoming more crowded as student athletes dodge increasingly cold temperatures on the Alumni Field for winter sports practices and tryouts.
Tryouts for fall athletics began at the end of August, and students were well rested and eager to start the new season, Coach Robert Harmon said. “When you’re dealing with the fall, you’ve got great weather for the first part, people are fresh coming in,” he said.
The two-week fall preseason provides an opportunity for teammates to bond and make a more leisurely transition into the athletic season as well as the school year, Jane Frankel (12) said. It also gives athletes time to accurately demonstrate their skills to coaches.
“Fall tryouts are much better [than winter tryouts] because you have more of a chance to actually show what you can do, whereas, especially with basketball tryouts, you have three days with not a lot of time to show your talent,” Nick Potash (10) said.
The end of the first trimester has proven stressful for winter athletes, especially those who did not participate in fall sports, because they still must participate in gym classes as well as stay until 6 PM after school.
“This is the week where I probably need the most time to study and do work, so that’s why I thought I should either have a gym free or not have tryouts or practice for the week,” Darius McCullough (10) said.
The winter season usually means more schoolwork and extracurricular obligations for athletes, however, students are better adjusted during the winter, as they have gotten used to the workload, forged new friendships and gained a better understanding of the school, Director of Athletics Robert Annunziata said.
Whereas basketball began their preseason in early November, other sports convene later in the month. This was done so that teams could have time to adequately prepare for competitions, allot time to finalize line-ups, and make cuts.
“We’re going to utilize these next couple of weeks before our season starts for team chemistry and working on our shots and defense,” Frankel said.