By Kimoi Felmine ‘16 and Karen Cherkas ‘16
As the temperatures drop, the cold wind has swept school teams and gym classes off of Midwood Field. Principal Michael McDonnell set down a final rule that it will no longer be available for use in harsh weather conditions, defined as below 40 degrees. This rule is in effect from December 1 till March 1.
“Every coach made their own policy, and I felt that it was inconsistent,” said McDonnell “It was to set down appropriate practice conditions that coaches could follow.”
This new rule has forced all teams and outdoor gym classes, such as lacrosse and tennis, inside for the winter season.
“We have to find designated areas in the school to stay,” tennis gym coach, Mr. Anthony Mucurio said, “but it’s difficult because of the amount of people that are registered for gym classes.”
A big key to the lacrosse team’s success has been the ability to use Midwood Field during the offseason. This has allowed the Lady Hornets to continuously brush up on stick skills and shooting as well as to rehearse team strategy. The loss of offseason use of the field is only one of the many problems the Lady Hornets will have to deal with this year. The assortment of obstacles consists of the loss of 11 players due to graduation, and the rising competition in city’s south division, as 3 teams in the division finished with 11 wins last year. However, players remain confident as ever despite the new challenges their team is facing.
“Two years ago we lost our whole starting lineup,” said Monica Riskevich ’15. “We managed to play well regardless of how many players we lost.”
Practices for lacrosse gym are confined to the annex bridge and weight room, while the track team juggles between the cafeteria and Prospect Park. The football team, which usually has indoor weight training after their season, shares their space with both teams. Tennis and handball gym, which use the field all school year, are still at the field when weather permits. Otherwise, they are indoors having meetings and watching informational videos.
“I don’t think it’s that big of a deal, it is only for winter sports which are mainly indoors,” said Mucurio.
Adjusting to an indoors only offseason practice regimen however, is proving to be something many players are not content with.
“Everyone loves to practice their stick handling skills, and to scrimmage, and actually play lacrosse,” said Teili Gasso ’15. “Weight lifting and conditioning are beneficial for us but I would say most of us are disappointed about missing out”.
Despite cluttered hallways and the complaints of some athletes, there are also those in favor of the policy.
“I love playing tennis but this weather is just too cold to play outside,” said tennis gym member, Zarin Hossain’16. “Junior year is very important and the last thing I want to do is get sick and miss school.”
Being indoors allows for gym classes and teams to learn more about the sport they play until the weather becomes more pleasant. However sports, like lacrosse, that require the use of a field to better understand the rules and regulations are still at a disadvantage.
“It’s not to limit everything,” said McDonnell, “We are interested in that students are safe.”
Keturah Raymond ’15 and Samuel McQuillan ‘15 contributed to this article.