January 31, 2021
There is plenty to write about as it pertains to NYA Athletics and Activities. I welcome your questions and feedback via a phone call or an in-person (student) conversation. Below is (believe it or not) a condensed update on where we are and what we can expect for the remainder of the winter season.
Middle School Activities
Middle School activities continue to meet in-person, in-house, and in their existing formats and schedules, as communicated via weekly emails from coaches or group leaders. After school activities provide our students with valuable opportunities to let loose and enjoy time together. We are excited about introducing new training opportunities brought on by recent state guidelines, and you will hear about these soon. The winter season is set to run through Thursday, February 25, with team and group celebrations TBD. Thanks to all the Middle School Panthers who are making this winter season one to remember, despite its challenges!
Upper School Activities
Recent and welcomed changes to the state’s school-based sport guidelines allowed our teams to return to in-person training when Cumberland County is designated as “yellow.” This means that all of our teams will train under school-based sport levels two and three, more commonly referred to as “normal practice” while in a “green or yellow” designation. Previously, a “yellow” designation resulted in Department of Education mandated physical education guideline compliance. The change is welcomed by coaches and students alike, and will likely result in more sore muscles than in previous weeks. We continue to be diligent in our social distancing, mask wearing, and general good hygiene practices during athletic activities.
This change brought additional edits to our competition schedules. After countless meetings between school and state administrators, medical professionals, sport committees, and other stakeholders, the approved NYA competition schedules can be found online here. Coaches will also communicate schedule information weekly via emails.
The following pertains to competition plans for each of our NYA Upper School programs:
- Our boys and girls basketball programs will begin competition the week of February 8 and are currently scheduled for ten games against local, Maine Principals Association (MPA) competition. Games will be scheduled through March 10, as available.
- No conference or state tournament will take place this season.
- Our boys and girls hockey programs will begin competition the week of February 8 and will compete against a combination of MPA and NEPSAC teams. Games will be scheduled through March 10, as available.
- No conference or state tournaments will take place this season.
- Due to interstate hockey travel bans, traditional in-state Prep opponent restrictions, the condensed MPA season, and our focus on keeping the entire NYA community safe, our options for competition have made creating a robust hockey schedule more than challenging. We are constantly communicating with NEPSAC peers and remain ready to schedule additional games with these opponents, when and if possible.
Indoor Track and Field
- All of our normal meet venues are unable to host our school-based programs due to their own community COVID-19 guidelines, making traditional meets an impossibility this winter.
- Virtual meet guidelines from two area programs have been shared with coaches, who will engage student participation as our own NYA facility allows.
- The team’s official end date is currently TBD, although no conference or state meet will take place this season.
- With a major snowfall in the forecast (knock on wood!), the program will be prepared to compete in weekly races at a variety of traditional state courses. The exact location of races will be determined based on snowfall and communicated to coaches.
- Races will be scheduled through March 10, as available; details on a potential conference meet remain TBD.
Specific competition and school guidelines will be approved early next week, including details in the areas of travel, roster size, and more. We will share this information with coaches and review it with students as appropriate. Athletic directors will meet weekly to rearrange any competition schedules impacted by weather and/or COVID-19. We are committed to playing as many competitions as the calendar allows!
While some activity details have changed for the better, a few areas remain under similar guidelines as our fall athletic programs successfully navigated:
- All home and away competitions will be open to game personnel only (i.e. players, coaches, essential staff).
- State mandated indoor capacity limits make it difficult to welcome anyone other than game personnel.
- We are working on specific guidelines and approval for potential Senior Day events with each program in order to recognize and celebrate our senior student-athletes. We will communicate this as soon as possible.
- We are finalizing the details of livestreaming all home NYA competitions via the NYA Athletics Facebook page, by way of Vimeo. Our intent is to improve the overall film quality via Vimeo, while also providing coaches and students with an easier way to access game film for future use.
- Away competitions will likely be filmed/livestreamed by the host school. Viewing information will be shared with coaches, as well as posted on our NYA Athletics social media platforms the day of each competition.
- Home contest video will be available to view live, but it will not be saved on social media for public viewing after each recorded contest.
Drama and Studio Band
- We continue to communicate with state and school officials regarding the current guidelines for these activities. We hope some restrictions will be lifted, while maintaining the safety of our community. We remain impressed with the ways group leaders and students have adapted this winter.
A few additional notes and reminders:
Snow Day Communications
- Snow days are communicated first via Mr. Jackson’s Instagram account. Decisions regarding whether or not practices and/or competitions will be held are made around noon by administrators and coaches and will be communicated afterwards.
School Attendance Policy
- To participate in an after school activity, a student must arrive at school by 10:00 a.m. on that day. Any request for deviance from this rule must be made directly to Ms. Ross. This applies to any remote required reason, as well.
Return to Play Process
- After being held out of an after school activity for any health related reason (i.e. ankle sprain, concussion, positive COVID test, etc.), a student must communicate with the NYA Athletic Trainer, Heather Dean, for approval to return to play.
- Health Services Coordinator, Ashley Moody, will also be looped into these conversations dependent upon the health concern
- Processes vary for different injuries and illnesses – when in doubt, ask!
As it officially begins to feel like winter, the days grow longer, and with only five weeks until March Break, I urge each of you to find little victories every, single day. They are there! I’ll leave you with a quote my eighth grade history teacher had in the classroom, and one that I have turned to often over the last year:
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company…a church….a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.” by Charles Swindoll
We can do this, Panthers. I am looking forward to all that you’re about to accomplish, and I am proud of all that you already have.
Be safe, and see you soon,