The Bears are in a position to get on the Swenson Area turf 3 times every week with modified follow periods.
Below regular circumstances, the Bridgewater State College soccer workforce would have a bye on its schedule subsequent weekend.
The Bears would have performed seven video games already, beginning with a Labor Day weekend journey to New York to face Morrisville State, with simply three video games to go within the common season.
As a result of COVID-19 pandemic, nevertheless, each week is a bye week for Bridgewater State this fall.
All sports activities performed this semester have been canceled by the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Convention again in July, and whereas there aren’t any video games, the soccer workforce and the others on the BSU campus are allowed to do some coaching.
Swenson Area has been quiet on Saturday afternoons, a time when the Bears soccer workforce can be usually be going about their common enterprise each September, October and November.
“It’s truthfully the weirdest feeling ever as a result of from fourth grade on, when August rolls round, soccer camp begins,’’ stated senior linebacker and captain John MacDermott, a Bridgewater-Raynham Regional Excessive graduate. “I by no means actually had an August to go away on household journeys due to soccer.
“Simply to be round in August this yr and go to the seaside was a very bizarre feeling. It appears like one thing continues to be lacking. Saturdays, I’m watching (Division 1) faculty play soccer once we’re normally taking part in soccer, so one thing’s lacking.’’
The Bears, who would have been on the College of Massachusetts Dartmouth this weekend, are left with some modified follow periods that started Sept. 21 and can proceed into November.
There’s a chance, relying on the pandemic, that the MASCAC will enable Bridgewater State and the opposite convention members to play a handful of soccer video games in April.
“It’s one thing to shoot for and set your targets for,’’ stated coach Joe Verria.
For now, the Bears report back to Swenson Area within the afternoon each Monday, Wednesday and Friday the place they’re cut up up into completely different teams to keep away from having too many gamers on the sector or within the weight room on the identical time.
Gamers are examined for COVID-19 and there are symptom checks earlier than they take the sector.
In the course of the first two weeks, there have been 4 group of 24 gamers every with 12 engaged on weight lifting and the opposite 12 being on the sector. The offense goes from Three-Four:30 p.m. and the protection has its flip from Four:30-6 p.m.
“They type of cross within the evening,’’ stated Verria, whose gamers don’t put on pads or helmets and don masks designed for athletes in coaching.
In part two of the follow plan, which started two weeks in the past and ended on Friday, the group measurement was elevated to 48 with 24 gamers cut up up whereas they’re on the sector and 24 others designated for weight coaching.
The third part, scheduled to start out on Monday, would enable the coaches to have gamers do some seven-on-seven work on the sector.
“If all goes properly and all people is testing advantageous with no points, we’ll get to go to part three,’’ stated Verria. “No less than we’ll have some soccer stuff.
“We’ve already superior into doing a little particular person stuff. We’ve achieved a bit of workforce stuff. I purchased rubbish barrels and we put them on the market as formations for the protection to line up in opposition to. The offense places them on the market to run in opposition to so we’re not physique on physique.’’
It has been a difficult time, however Verria stated that the gamers have proven plenty of enthusiasm all through the semester.
“We’re getting rather a lot achieved,’’ stated Verria. “I’ve by no means been extra pleased with a bunch. These youngsters don’t know in the event that they’re having any season or something, however I’ve had 95 youngsters at each follow. Each follow. Attendance has been extraordinarily good.
“You’ve received 95 youngsters on the market that will in all probability somewhat be on the soccer discipline with their mates than again at residence or within the dorm. The camaraderie and bonding is occurring. Even when they’re not taking part in a recreation, at the very least they’re doing one thing collectively and it’s beginning to present a bit of bit.’’
Verria stated the Bears have been in a position begin implementing the offense and protection and there was extra particular person work by coaches with gamers due to the small group sizes.
“It’s actually like spring follow with no pads,’’ he stated. “However you’re teaching with one arm behind your again with the restrictions and the schedule points. You’re working two separate practices. Everyone’s doing one thing they’re not used to doing. However we’re doing a very good job with it.’’
Verria, who performed at Bridgewater State from 1976-79, grew to become an assistant coach at his alma mater in 1988 and has been the pinnacle coach since 2016. So having no soccer on the weekends in a brand new expertise.
“It’s actually completely different being residence on the weekends,’’ stated Verria.
MacDermott, who will probably return to play one last season within the fall of 2021, is pleased to only be capable of do some soccer exercise along with his teammates after having the scheduled worn out.
“It’s positively higher than nothing,’’ he stated. “It’s positively robust (shedding the season), however it’s not prefer it’s simply us. The entire nation’s going by way of the identical factor. You simply must roll with the punches.
“No one anticipated COVID to come back round and there’d be an enormous pandemic in 2020. There’s actually nothing we are able to do about it. We simply have to remain centered and make the very best of what we’ve received with these three days of follow every week.’’
Jim Fenton could also be reached at [email protected] Observe him on Twitter at @JFenton_ent.