Hundreds of enthusiastic students have returned to soccer, cross-country and volleyball as Crescent School’s athletics programming resumes for the first time since March 2020. Students are signing up for teams and tryouts at an unprecedented pace: more than 75% of Lower School students have signed up for sports this fall, as have two-thirds of Middle and Upper School students. Director of Athletics Fraser Bertram says the impact on students is palpable. “Whether they were crawling up the cross-country hill at the back or running drills on the soccer field, they all had smiles on their faces,” he shares.
The students aren’t the only ones smiling: most coaches are also Crescent teachers, who appreciate the opportunity to return to the field with the boys. To do anything “normal” in a pandemic requires the careful execution of health and safety measures, which the coaches have gladly accommodated. “It’s taken a lot to make this work. Without the diligence of our staff, this wouldn’t be happening,” Bertram says. “If you were watching a soccer practice, what you’d see would look relatively normal — but there are extra precautions at every step.” Reliable strategies are keeping students safe and healthy while they get their exercise: Middle and Upper School students are grouped by grade to minimize exposures, while Lower School students are participating in their Home Form cohorts. Handwashing, mask wearing and physical distancing have helped as well.
While the future remains uncertain, Mr. Bertram is maintaining his focus on the present. Team schedules are full with practices, games and inter-school competition. Students have spent the last 18 months asking Mr. Bertram when athletics would start again; they now have their answer.