Girls’ volleyball coach speaks on safety and goals for the season

Volleyballs lined up along the sidelines

Mill Works

Volleyballs lined up along the sidelines

Prajana Sriram, Staff Writer

Recently, the Westford School Committee, with a vote of 5-2, approved the Fall 2 season with the 2 opposing votes being school committee chair, Gloria Miller, and school committee member, Avery Adam. The Fall-2 sports season is from Feb. 22- Apr. 25 and include football, volleyball, cheerleading, and track. In a typical year, these sports would run normally, but this year, there are many differences.

The main changes this year were in COVID protocols, length of season, and gatherings outside of practice.

“The season is shorter. Typically we would play between 18-20 games per season this year we only cut it down to 10,” Westford Academy girl’s volleyball coach Brandon Eang said.

According to Eang, the girls’ volleyball team is playing with DCL large instead of DCL small schools, DCL is a sports league in Massachusetts.

The last change was in regards to transportation. Players will have to find their own means of transportation to and from games as there are no buses this year.

In order to reach the goal to keep people safe, the players must follow the COVID protocols that are set in place, such as maintaining a distance of six feet and wearing a mask. In addition, they are going to check the players’ temperatures.

“For this season, our main goal is to be healthy and then have fun…The protocol for all the sports is very similar if not the same,” Eang said.

Eang also stated some concerns regarding players safety.

“When the kids coming to the school especially coming to practice and things like that… We know that  as long as we are following the protocol we know that we are at least feel somewhat safe. But once the players go outside of the school they hang out with their friends, and don’t take the protocols seriously, they are jeopardizing the season,” Eang said.

Eang proceeds to say that it comes down to selfishness and if the player decides to put themself before the team, then there may be a problem. Eang believes that he can ask the players to be safe and “use common sense”, but it all comes down to individual responsibility.

In regards to the emotional effects of having such a different season he said that he feels bad for the players, as they are not experiencing the full experience.

He thinks that it is almost like “the environment has cheated on them”, but having a season at all is better than nothing because some sports had to get short.

“I want to express my sincere gratitude to [Athletic director Jeffery Bunyon], [Superintendent Bill Olsen], and [Principal James Antonelli] for advocating and making this possible,” Eang said.

Due to COVID, some of the team’s traditions are not happening. In a regular year each of the families players would host a spaghetti dinner the night of a game to get together and build a friendship.

“It is a nice tradition but we are not having that this year,” Eang said

Even with all these changes, there is still a lot to look forward to in this season.

” I am looking forward to having fun, seeing the players, playing the game especially the seniors…We are trying to make the most of it and I look forward to see my seniors play for their last volleyball high school career. […] I’m excited for them,” Eang said.