Hurricane Irene affects preseason practice schedule
Updated 6:35 pm, Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Hurricane Irene postponed at least two days of preseason practice for the local CIAC high schools.
Staples and Weston postponed their preseason practices Sunday and Monday for all fall sports teams. Weston stopped its fall practices Saturday at noon while Staples' Saturday morning and afternoon practices went on as scheduled.
Practice resumed for the Staples Wreckers and Lady Wreckers yesterday.
Although Staples missed two days of practice, it feels undaunted by nature's forced change and is putting its best foot forward.
"They will be fine," Staples Athletic Director Marty Lisevick said. "We have a veteran coaching staff and they can more than make up for it. If you are a varsity coach, you may make your cuts a day later."
Lady Wreckers field hockey coach Cecily Anderson is resilient about altering her team's schedule.
"We have lost a total of three sessions due to the weather. I've adjusted our schedule and made Saturday a bit longer," Anderson said. "It has condensed our tryouts but I feel that the coaching staff will be able to make the right decisions for the teams with the time left. We have some great leaders on the team that have been doing an excellent job communicating last minute changes with the rest of the team."
Wreckers boys soccer coach Dan Woog also used the storm to make sure his players were extra attentive.
"When we got together for the first time at 7:30 on Saturday morning, we told the 60 guys trying out for varsity and JV boys soccer that because of the impending hurricane, they had to be completely focused that day," Woog said. "In that session, and the afternoon tryout, they worked incredibly hard. We got a lot accomplished. The hurricane also focused our coaching staff, so we also worked very efficiently."
Because of the havoc Hurricane Irene wreaked on Weston where 95 percent of its residents were without power as of Tuesday morning, it cancelled school yesterday and today, thus wiping out practice for the Trojans and Lady Trojans fall sports teams. Weston hopes to open its schools tomorrow, which will enable the Trojans and Lady Trojans practice.
"Most of the teams are in the same boat and it is what it is," Weston Athletic Director Mark Berkowitz said. "Thankfully, everyone is safe and we'll start the season when we can."
In the end, the athletic directors and coaches feel changing the schedule is a minor sacrifice -- if that.
"It's a tough way to start school year and a tough way to start the sports season, but it's minor in the grand scheme of things when you think of the people without homes right now," Berkowitz said.
Anderson said, "Westport families have really been affected by the storm and the important thing is that everyone is safe, not that we have the perfect start to the season."
Lisevick said, "I'm thrilled everyone still have their houses [in Wesport] and no one got hurt because they took the necessary precautions. If you look at the big picture, all we miss is a practice or two, which is no big deal. The No. 1 priority is the safety of our kids."
Woog credited his players and staff for the way they handled the situation.
"I have nothing but praise for all our players, and our coaches," Woog said. "We know many people faced much more adversity than our soccer program, but we're grateful we escaped relatively unscathed, and with a renewed sense of purpose. And, of course, we are very grateful that everyone is safe."