HARWICH – The wait for winter sports at Monomoy is finally over.
Monomoy Regional High School began holding its winter sports tryouts Tuesday, nearly one month after tryouts and practices were originally scheduled to begin.
The Dec. 14 start date was pushed back to Jan. 4 after two positive COVID-19 cases at MRHS forced the school to close its doors until after the holiday break. Upon returning to school after the new year, MRHS decided the best way to curb a potential spread of COVID-19 after the holidays was to continue operating remotely through Monday.
That sidelined Monomoy athletes and coaches, who have been eager to get started.
“The kids are definitely anxious to get out there,” MRHS athletic director Karen Guillemette said. “They’re looking forward for the winter season to start. I think they’re really excited to get going.”
Monomoy will offer boys and girls varsity and junior varsity basketball this winter as well as boys and girls varsity hockey, both of which are co-op programs comprised of players from different schools.
The Monomoy boys’ hockey players will compete alongside Mashpee on the Mashpee-Monomoy Monarchs, which will play its games at Tony Kent Arena in South Dennis.
Five MRHS girls play for the Cape Cod Furies, a co-op hockey program that also features eight girls from Nauset and one from Cape Tech, who was granted a waiver to play despite the fact Cape Tech isn’t offering sports this winter. The Furies will play their home games at Charles Moore Arena in Orleans.
Guillemette said securing ice time for the two programs was a tall task.
“The hardest thing to schedule was actually ice hockey because the rink time is so sparse,” she said. “That’s been the hardest to reschedule, but so far we’ve managed.”
The Furies are scheduled to open their season by hosting Martha’s Vineyard at 4 p.m. Saturday at Charles Moore Arena, and they’ll return to the ice Monday for another 4 p.m. contest against visiting Nantucket. The Monarchs, meanwhile, are tentatively scheduled to start their season Jan. 23 at Sandwich.
Both Monomoy varsity basketball programs are tentatively slotted to open their respective seasons against Rising Tide on Jan. 22. The boys will hit the road and travel to Plymouth for a 6 p.m. game while the girls will host Rising Tide at 5 p.m.
Guillemette said all of the teams will play fewer games due to the Fall II sports season set to begin Feb. 22. The fact that MRHS had to delay the start to its season means the teams will be busy during the winter, though Guillemette noted the teams haven't had to cancel any more games beyond the originally shortened season.
“It’s a really limited schedule,” she said. “The varsity teams usually play 20 games and it’s down to 12 this year. And the JV games are even less — they’re about half of that. I think it’s every single week that our basketball teams have three games, which isn’t ideal but is certainly doable.”
Even though certain aspects of the winter season won’t be ideal, Guillemette believes her players are thrilled to return to action and experience a bit of normalcy.
“They are all ready to go as soon as they can,” she said.
Email Brad Joyal at firstname.lastname@example.org