Lower Cape Schools Begin Winter Sports Practices, Tryouts

By: Brad Joyal

Topics: School Sports , Basketball , Hockey

The Nauset swimming and diving program’s season is set to begin with the Cape and Islands League relays, scheduled for Dec. 11 at Sandwich High School. BRAD JOYAL FILE PHOTO

Bust out your ice skates, roll out some basketballs and get ready to make a splash, because winter high school sports are back on the Lower Cape.

Local high school teams were allowed to open their winter sports tryouts and practices Monday afternoon, as teams reconvened for the first time since February.

There will be one glaring difference between fall and winter sports, however: athletes and coaches will have to remain masked during competition, with the exception of swimmers actively competing in the pool.

The same rule will apply to spectators — masks will be required while watching games indoors, a visual reminder that the COVID-19 pandemic remains an ongoing crisis.

The Lower Cape’s three schools offer different options for fall sports; Cape Tech offers basketball and hockey, Monomoy offers basketball, hockey and cheerleading and Nauset offers basketball, hockey, indoor track and field, swimming, cheerleading and wrestling.

All three schools’ girls hockey players play together on the Cape Cod Furies, a co-op program set to begin its sixth season.

The teams will have two weeks of practice before some play their respective season openers Dec. 10.

This winter’s slate will also grant local student-athletes with one opportunity they lost last year: the chance to play in the state tournament. Because the 2020-2021 high school athletic calendar was altered to include four seasons rather than three, state tournaments were canceled in favor of many leagues and conferences holding their own week-long tournaments.

That was a nice consolation prize, but athletes will be able to compete for the ultimate prize — state championships — when they return to action this winter.

Contact the school’s athletic departments with any questions or to receive up-to-date information regarding the COVID-19 protocols that will be implemented during winter sports.

Email Brad Joyal at brad@capecodchronicle.com. Twitter: @BradJoyal