As the K12 school years comes to a close many athletes look back on the past year with a bitter-sweet perspective. Athletes accustomed to playing a specific sport for a full season had to adjust, to postponed or cancelled seasons and often travel was limited to local area teams. While much focus has been on the challenges of Covid, one benefit for area athletes was to experience multiple sports and expand their athletic abilities.
Last December it was unclear if many sports would continue or not. High risk sports such as Wrestling, Ice Hockey, Basketball, Football, Volleyball, and Lacrosse were all in a state of indecision. But Section V and NYSPHSAA permitted athletes to participate in more than one sport at a time and has allowed for 4 to 5+ season athletes.
The Section V Athletics Dual Participation Policy According to the NYSPHSAA handbook listed on their website is as follows:
- Participation by a student in more than one sport in the same time division (season) shall be determined by the Section V Athletic Council.
- This is found under Sport Standard #25 – REPRESENTATION in the NYSPHSAA Handbook.
- Student athletes may be allowed to participate on more than one sport team during the same season if they meet the requirements of each sport program.
- Leagues will have the responsibility and authority to make rules governing participation in more than one sport during a sport season.
- Dual participation information will be reported to the Section V office.
As various sports seasons were shortened, athletes were able to experience other sports and test their skills in new venues and push themselves to new limits. For example, fall sports (football, cheerleading, volleyball) were conducted from March 2021 through early May 2021. Spring sports practices started April 19, 2021.
Livonia AD Mark Kress noted they have “a number of kids that have participated in 4 or more which is the first time since probably late 70’s or early 80’s”.
John Sciara, Livonia Lacrosse coach: “Our season was too short and went too fast to even get a grip on it. We are as good as we are because our kids aren’t just lacrosse players, they’re athletes. They play multiple sports and do well in all. Coach Chad Smith the man in the weight room at Livonia also has a huge part to play in our success. Our kids are bigger, stronger, and faster than most of the teams we play”. At one point they were 10 wins and 4 losses and quite possibly one of the top 2 seeds in Sect.5 class C.
Keshequa AD Brad Lehman had 8 athletes in grades 7-12 play 4 sports this year and had 2 seniors play 5 sports (soccer, ski, basketball, volleyball, baseball).
At Dansville, AD David Moodie indicates they had a total of 29 student athletes participate in 4 to 5 sports this school year.
Wayland-Cohocton AD James Brownell had 4 that would have only played in 2, maybe 3 sports.
Several athletes took advantage of playing multiple sports in this crazy year: One player who normally played football and basketball also participated in soccer, swimming, and tennis; Another athlete was normally in soccer, baseball and basketball and this year also played swimming, football; And another soccer and baseball but this year added basketball and football; For the women one athlete added basketball, volleyball to soccer & softball; And another added volleyball to their normal sports of soccer, basketball, & softball.
As we all look back at the 2020-2021 school and sport year’s we can find a bit of positive in that many athletes expanded their skills, friendships and certainly had their team pictures on multiple pages of their yearbooks. We shall see what 2021-2022 brings but by all expectations we will be back to the ‘normal’ seasonal schedules.