If the governor says its okay, practices for high school winter sports in Virginia are just a month and a half away. Boys and girls basketball practices are scheduled to begin on December 7 and the rest of the winter sports teams are hoping to begin practices December 14.
Lord Botetourt athletic director Chuck Pound and James River AD Vincent Wyatt have been working hard getting together schedules for all sports. The Virginia High School League “COVID Calendar” has fall sports beginning practices in February and spring sports workouts getting underway in mid-April. It hasn’t been easy getting opponents on the schedule for the condensed seasons, which are hopefully just for one year.
“It is usually difficult to make the football schedule balance,” said Pound. “That took some work and sacrifice from everyone in the BRD. Having a six-team district hurt us for football, because everyone needed one more game.
“The other schedules were not too difficult. In sports where they actually have an opportunity for non-district games, I had coaches request who they would like to play in this strange year.”
Botetourt will play all five district opponents in a six-game football season, with Staunton River on the schedule twice. LB will open with the Golden Eagles on February 22.
Basketball will be the first games of the winter season. The LB girls will host Salem on December 21 while the boys open with James River, also in Daleville, a night later. Wrestling will begin with a home quad on December 30 with William Byrd, Hidden Valley and Salem attending. The first swimming meet won’t be until January 12.
While LB’s boys will open their basketball season against James River, the Knights will have a game with Glenvar the night prior, on December 21. That will be on the road, and the girls will open on the same night at home against Glenvar. The Knights’ wrestling schedule has yet to be announced and the swimmers won’t hit the pool in competition until January 6 at the Botetourt YMCA. River fall and spring schedules have yet to be announced.
“With the seasons being so condensed, we don’t really have a lot of room to put together the usual schedule,” said River’s Wyatt. “We have seven weeks to play 60 percent of our regular season games and still have room for potential ‘weather dates.’ Our games are a lot more back-to-back, or so close together it feels like a back-to-back. Luckily, I have amazing ADs I work closely with that are experiencing the same issues, so we work with each other and are doing the best we can for our sports teams.”