A lot went through Connor Brickley’s mind when he took over as head coach of the Cape Cod Furies co-op girls hockey team featuring girls from Cape Cod Tech, Monomoy and Nauset Regional High Schools.
Brickley thought about the style of play he wanted to implement, the coaches who would join him as assistants and short-term and long-term goals he had for the program.
The first-year coach was plenty aware of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, but after watching the country’s response throughout the spring, summer and fall, shutting down the program for an extended period of time wasn’t on Brickley’s radar.
“COVID hasn’t really gone anywhere, but from how things were projecting in the spring, summer and the fall, I didn’t really anticipate that these things were going to happen,” Brickley said Monday afternoon. “That schools were going to get shut down and sports closing down for weeks or the cases climbing. That was some unexpected turbulence.”
Brickley and the Furies haven’t played a game since their 1-0 loss to Sandwich on Dec. 18 due to multiple postponements and Monomoy applying a department-wide weeklong shutdown due to the recent uptick of COVID cases both locally and nationally.
The shutdown impacted all MRHS athletics regardless of level and gender, in addition to all of the school’s non-sports extracurricular activities. Monomoy returned to action Monday and will resume play as scheduled this week.
The MRHS athletic department announced a new spectator policy that began Monday; athletes on visiting teams are now only allowed to have parents and siblings attend away games against Monomoy teams. Masks continue to be required for all in attendance regardless of the venue.
Brickley said his team is eager to start getting back into game shape when it hosts Nantucket on Wednesday.
“We haven’t played a game in like four weeks, so it’s been really challenging for the girls with no prize in sight,” he said. “It’s always tough when you have to just practice and practice and practice and you don’t get the reward of playing a game and getting that competition. It just gets old and tedious.”
The first-year coach said the Furies aren’t expecting teams to go easy on them because they missed time.
“Even though our season had slowed down for a bit, some teams are playing and you have to treat it like that,” Brickley said. “Nobody is going to feel sorry for us if we’re playing one of those teams that has been playing for the past couple weeks. If we’re not ready to show up, that’s just a loss that we’re giving away. The team that we have, I think we’re too strong of a team, especially here on Cape Cod, to let those games slip by.”
Email Brad Joyal at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @BradJoyal