NORTH EASTHAM – Six hundred and seventy-four days. That’s how much time passed between the Massachusetts high school spring sports seasons.
The wait for spring athletes across the state ended Monday when the spring sports season officially began. It was a festive environment at Nauset Regional High School, where various Warriors teams took to the field of play for the first time since 2019 after COVID-19 forced the cancellation of last year’s entire spring slate.
For the Nauset boys and girls track and field teams, Monday’s practice didn’t seem that foreign. Although it was the Warriors’ first practice of the spring outdoor season, the two teams met throughout March and April’s “Fall II” season, which is when Nauset opted to hold its indoor track season.
Despite the label of “indoor” track, that season was held outside, too. So, Monday’s practice really didn’t seem all that different to the Warriors, with the exception of the weather being a little warmer.
“Indoor track was outdoors,” said Moira Nobili, who coaches both the boys and girls track teams. “We never had indoors — never — it was awful. That was the hardest part.”
There are still aspects of the spring season that need to be ironed out. For starters, this week the Cape and Islands League is expected to vote on whether a league meet will be held in the same fashion it was at the end of the cross-country season during the fall.
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association also needs to determine whether there will be postseason meets that draw competitors from around the state. Nobili said she expects to have a better idea about the postseason in the coming days before the Warriors are scheduled to open their season May 6 against Sturgis East/West.
“That would be amazing,” senior Finn Riley said when asked what it would mean to have a league or All-State meet. “We were able to have a league meet in cross country, which was awesome. We really enjoyed that. To be able to have that for the spring would mean a lot to finish off our high school careers.”
Riley, a Brewster resident and Texas Christian University commit, is one of the leaders on the boys team. He said his focus throughout the spring will be on the two-mile race, and he’s hopeful he’ll be able to improve his time before season’s end.
“That’s the race I’ve been focusing on for the past two or three years since I started doing track,” Riley said. “I want to lower my time in that and get in the best shape I can before college.”
Riley isn’t the only Warrior looking forward to a college career. A trio of seniors on the girls team — Izzy Nobili, Sophie Christopher and Monique Malcolm — are all eager to improve during their final year sporting Nauset’s black and yellow.
Nobili, an Eastham resident, is committed to Johns Hopkins University, while Christopher and Malcolm, both Brewster residents, plan to run and study at the University of Vermont and American International College, respectively.
Nobili said she’s excited to focus on some events — notably the 800-meter run — that she didn’t have a chance to run last year.
“I definitely have some goals in events that I haven’t been able to race in a long time,” Izzy Nobili said. “In the 800, I haven’t been able to compete in that since my sophomore year because we didn’t have a season last year, so I’m excited to race that again back on the outdoor track.”
Christopher echoed Nobili’s sentiments and added that she’s looking forward to leaving Nauset with some improved times.
“The times I have were also my sophomore year, so I think I can put down good times this year,” said the UVM commit. “It will be interesting.”
After missing out on last year’s outdoors season and having this year’s indoor season altered due to COVID-19, Izzy Nobili said she’s most excited about the upcoming outdoors season providing a little normalcy.
“It’s really nice to be back out here,” she said. “After dealing with the uncertainty of not having seasons throughout the year and dealing with scheduling, it’s just so good to be back with the team and being able to compete and practice together again.”
Email Brad Joyal at firstname.lastname@example.org