Horace Mann's Weekly Newspaper Since 1903

The Record

A Preview of Preseason

Nishtha Sharma, Contributing

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As summer vacation came to an end, fall athletes headed back to school for preseason. Athletes found themselves doing everything from running the hills of Van Cortlandt to working on their endurance in the pool in preparation for a productive season.

The week of August 21st saw most of the athletes returning to school including those from the school’s soccer, volleyball, cross country, tennis and field hockey teams.

The football teams began their preseason earliest on August 18th with two practices each day, while Water Polo began last, with three hour practices from August 28th through August 31st.

Preseason has been an ongoing tradition at the school since 1984, when the school became a member of The New York State Association of Independent Schools Athletic Association (NYSAISAA). “This period of acclimation, conditioning and preparedness” must take place in order to meet state standards, Director of Athletics, Health & Physical Education Robert Annunziata said.

NYSAISAA requires that players attend a set minimum number of practices before they are allowed to participate in games or meets.

JV and Varsity Water Polo began their preseason with vigorous conditioning through longer swim sets. The greatest challenge, as is for all teams, is, “the team is going to have to adapt to fill the void left by last year’s class. That means trying unfamiliar positions and figuring out new plays.” Honor McCarthy (12), co- Captain of the Varsity Water Polo team, said.

The cross country teams began conditioning for the season by gradually rebuilding stamina. “Since we run on a course with so many hills, it’s challenging to get back into shape after not training as hard during the summer, especially if you don’t have access to a hilly terrain,” Euwan Kim (10) said. Despite finding difficulty returning to the state she was in last season, Kim found that the team’s enthusiasm “really motivated me to train even harder.”

“Every year, as new faces are introduced to the team, it’s always a question of coming together both on and off the court,” co-Captain of the Girls Varsity Volleyball team Emma Kelly (12) said.

Multiple teams were affected by the ongoing construction.

Boys Cross Country

Girls Soccer

The tennis team walked down to Van Cortlandt Park each morning, where the Lions would play matches on the courts there. “Individual playing time is limited because we only have five courts for the multiple girls trying out,” Amiya Mehrotra (10) said. Although the commute up and down the hill took awayfrom their playing time, Rachel Okin (12) felt that walking down together asa group “was nice because it gave us time to talk to each other.

Additionally, the soccer teams relocated to the fields down at Van Cortlandt Park, where “there are multiple ditches and bumps. That means dribbling is a hassle, so we have to pass more,” Daniel Lee (10) said.

“We don’t have an adequate field to practice on,” Jonny Cohen (12) said “We’re all looking forward to getting the Alumni Field back.”

Although the team faced challenges with the new environment, they still felt a strong team dynamic, Sean Koons (11) said. “Most of us have played with each other before, so the camaraderie was already established from last year.”

The JV and Varsity Football teams traveled to Iroquois Springs for their annual training trip. The four-day trip consisted of both individual and team drills during the day, and scrimmages between special teams during the night, Raphael Silverman (11) said. “Compared to preseason practices on Four Acres and previous seasons, the drills we do here are more intense, and because we have pads, there’s more tackling involved.”

Many athletes were enthusiastic about beginning preseason. “I was really excited to get back together with my teammates that I’ve been playing with for all my years in high school,” Okin said.

Athletes enjoy being able to refocus and get back into a routine after summer, Freya Lindvall (12) said. “You don’t have the stress of school yet, so you can really focus on your sport and since it’s August, you can get to know any new team members and help welcome them into the program at HM.”

Some athletes feel that preseason brings them back into the school mindset. “Because I have to wake up at 6:45 am to go to practice at school, I feel that preseason marks the beginning of a new year,” Koons said.

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Horace Mann's Weekly Newspaper Since 1903
A Preview of Preseason