After spike in Covid-19 cases, CIAC postpones start to all winter sports, but Naugatuck Indoor Track was prepared

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Matt Kilmer, Staff Reporter

Naugatuck, CT.–  After fall sports were cut short, the CIAC made the decision to postpone the start of winter sports to January 19, 2021. However, the Naugatuck Indoor Track team made sure that their athletes had everything they needed to train on their own and get ready for the delayed start date.

While Naugatuck’s winter sports are now the topic of discussion, they weren’t the first to be affected by the coronavirus.

The CIAC cancelled football for the fall season, then adapted it to 7 on 7.  All other fall athletics were cut short just before the seasons end, and now, with the winter season’s start being moved to January 19, Naugatuck indoor track has officially been added to a long list of athletics to be affected by the pandemic.  However, the fact that there will be a start date is motivation and optimism for any athletes who are preparing for the season.  Now, with conditioning being kicked into gear, the harsh reality of the pandemic’s difficulty is kicking in.

“It’s really slowed my training schedule and ability to prepare for the upcoming season,” said Naugatuck indoor track runner Cameron Jacobs. “Normally I’d be practicing 5 days a week for 2 hours each day and now I get barely half that.” 

There is no doubt that there are many athletes that echo that same sentiment.  Many athletes rely on motivation from their team to work hard and perform, and also need time to be made for them to allow them to get out there everyday and practice like they want to.  With the pandemic in effect, though, that unfortunately can’t get done.

That doesn’t mean, however, that the coaching staff hasn’t done everything in their power to give the team as much direction as they possibly can to try to get and keep them on track during these tough times.

Mr. Ralph Roper, head of the coaching staff for the indoor team, vocalized that they have been “posting weekly conditioning activities to enhance our athletes endurance, strength and cardiovascular capacity” and that they have “set-up google classroom as a resource for our track and field athletes to grow their track and field IQ”.

Those weekly conditioning activities ensure that the athletes have a blueprint to follow if they are able to make time to prepare for the season, and the Google Classroom covers various topics for the athletes, from “injury prevention” to “nutrition and event specific drills”.  These types of resources can do wonders for athletes when they are put in a situation like this.

There still are questions, however, as to whether the winter season will end in sports being played.  Many are skeptical about the fate of the winter season, but there are just as many staying optimistic.

“I hope the plan will materialize as expected for us to have an indoor season,” said Mr. Roper. “However, things are ever changing as we are in the midst of a pandemic. We must continue to prepare for the season as if it will happen. Athletes must be diligent in maintaining good health and safety precautions.”  

It is clear that there are many people whose thoughts are reflected in this message.  Obviously it would be great for the team’s to play this winter, but if it isn’t in their best interest, it can be understood.

So now, with the start date of indoor track and all winter sports up in the air, all these athletes can do is get ready to the best of their abilities while maintaining hope.