By Shailey Klein
As winter sports reach the conclusion of the regular season and enter into postseason, spring sports are already underway. The varsity boys weightlifting team, led by long-time coach Jim Margerum began lifting with its first practice on Jan. 11. The varsity girls and boys tennis teams, as well as the varsity baseball team began practicing Jan. 18. On Jan. 25, the last spring sports hit the ground running with varsity girls and boys lacrosse and track & field.
The varsity girls tennis team is the first to swing into action on Feb. 11 against Eastside High School at home. The varsity boys lacrosse team kicks off regular season competition with a game on the road at St. Augustine High School on Feb. 16. The first home boys lacrosse game shortly follows on Feb. 26 against Tallahassee Maclay. The boys varsity tennis team hits the court for its first game at home facing Eastside High School on Feb. 16. On Feb. 17, the boys varsity weightlifting team heads to Bronson for its first competition. The boys and girls track and field team runs into the beginning of its season with a home track meet at the Olinger Track on Feb. 17 as well. The boys varsity baseball team swings into action with its season and home opener on Feb. 22 at Roger Maris Field facing Cedar Key. The varsity girls lacrosse team opens its season on Feb. 23 at Newberry High School and plays its first game at home on March 5 against district foe Menendez High School.
Although official practices have begun for all spring sports, many teams still struggle with the overlap of winter and spring sports. With Oak Hall being such a small community, there are many athletes that participate in both winter and spring sports. The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) requires athletes to fully complete their winter sports season before beginning their spring sport. This rule is put in place in order to prevent winter sports teams from suffering from losing players as the team enters postseason, because of the start of spring sports. Much of postseason for winter sports such as basketball and soccer plays well into many spring sports seasons.
This overlap particularly caused an issue with the varsity girls lacrosse team, as eight players are members of the varsity girls soccer team. Five of those eight players are returning starters to the lacrosse team, making up a decent amount of the starting lineup. The original varsity girls lacrosse schedule, which was assembled months in advance had to be completely rearranged in order to accommodate the soccer postseason schedule. The first three games of the season were pushed back on the schedule, all of those being important district games. This makes for a tough regular season with often three games per week later in the season, but fortunately it allows the entire team to be together for the beginning of regular season play.
All spring sports programs are extremely eager to participate in competition as seasons were cut short a year ago, due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Some teams like the girls lacrosse team only had the opportunity to compete in one home game and four games total. The varsity baseball team only played five games. A year of off-season training has prepared every spring athlete to make up for lost time.
Check out https://www.oakhall.org/athletics/athletic-schedules for the most updated athletic schedules for spring sports.