High school sports teams cope with Covid’s challenges

Some Barrington teams have had to postpone games

Posted 1/7/22

George Finn has been dealing with a lot of curveballs recently — and it’s not even baseball season. 

The director of athletics and student activities at Barrington High School has …

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High school sports teams cope with Covid’s challenges

Some Barrington teams have had to postpone games

Posted

George Finn has been dealing with a lot of curveballs recently — and it’s not even baseball season. 

The director of athletics and student activities at Barrington High School has been working with his winter sports coaches as they navigate the challenges presented by a recent spike in Covid-19 cases. 

Mr. Finn said he started seeing an increase in cases among BHS student-athletes during the holiday break — between Christmas and New Year’s. It appears that trend continued following the return to school. Students went back to class on Monday, Jan. 3, and two days later officials announced that the high school was shifting to distance learning, due in part to a high number Covid cases among teachers and other staff. 

The student population has also witnessed an uptick as well, and that increase has impacted a number of sports teams.

Some teams, such as the boys basketball team, have been forced to postpone games, while others have been able to continue to field teams by utilizing the entire roster.

Mr. Finn said the school has not had to completely shut down or pause any teams yet this season. He added that the league is still working hard to get all the games played. 

On Wednesday night, the boys and girls hockey teams played in the annual Medeiros Memorial Cup games at Portsmouth Abbey. Mr. Finn said the boys hockey team took the ice with three full lines, although some younger players were able to log a bit more ice time. The BHS boys indoor track team defeated Mt. Pleasant, Hope and Wheeler in a regular season meet on Thursday night, although some of Eagles' varsity starters were not available.

"Despite a day of virtual school because of covid and the loss of several varsity team members due to illness, this was a pretty successful day in terms of our performances," wrote BHS Coach Bill Barrass.

Mr. Finn said he takes each day’s challenges as they are presented. He communicates regularly with his coaches and still handles all the other tasks associated with the day-to-day work — scheduling buses for away games, making sure there are referees for contests, and coordinating around the occasional snowstorm. 

“That’s a small blip on my radar screen now,” Mr. Finn said. 

Mr. Finn also works with the high school’s nurse and her assistant to conduct Covid testing for student-athletes. Mr. Finn said managing the winter sports season and all its challenges is a team effort.

“It’s all of us. The school nurse — she’s doing a great job. The whole administration here is doing great,” he said. 

Mr. Finn said offering sports during the pandemic has been important for the physical and mental health of the student-athletes. He said maintaining physical activity is a key piece to overall health.

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