By Edd Merritt
High school sports as you’ve seldom seen them
The past weekend marked the beginning of high school sports in Vermont as they have seldom been seen. Given the danger presented by the coronavirus for close physical contact or breath exposure, nearly every fall sport had to change its look – and in the case of football, its rules of the game. Tackle was out, touch was in; the running game gave away to a strictly passing contest; every kickoff started play from the receiving team’s 30-yard line.
The changes did not end on the field, the pitch or the net. The number of live spectators in the stands was limited to allow the required space between fans. CVU athletes were given a certain number of tickets that they dispensed. Soccer, volleyball and field hockey players received three; football players got two apiece and cross-country runners could have a single member of their family attend races. “General admission” became a lost concept.
CVU teams did fare well under the new rules. The field-hockey women faced Rice, and after falling behind by a goal in the first period, came back to tie on a goal by Halley Chase, followed by the game-winner in the fourth quarter by Peyton Jones.
The Redhawk volleyball team took on Lyndon Academy outside and won all three sets to take the match by that 3-0 margin. Their spikes and blocks kept the ball on the Vikings side of the net for much of the contest.
Still looking like the days of “Soccer Central” with skilled footwork, passes to the open man and shots to the open part of the net, CVU soccer men shut out Rice 4-0. The Hawks have not lost a game since 2017, and, as is often the case, they were able to rely on a full team effort, preventing their opponents to focus on any individual.