WJ spring teams use the fall as a makeup season

Jillian Ward

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Photo courtesy of Jillian Ward

Staying COVID safe, WJ girls lacrosse gets ready to warm up for their Sunday morning game. The girls went on to win 11-6.

COVID-19 stripped away the spring season for MCPS sports. Due to this loss, WJ baseball and lacrosse teams look forward to using their fall league play to prepare for their upcoming season. The new spring season will start in late April, as opposed to in early March as in previous years.

WJ boys and girls lacrosse are playing their fall games at Muldoon’s Farm in Poolesville, MD. The league consists of a variety of public and private school teams. The girls team is split up into two teams, one primarily freshmen and juniors and the other sophomores and seniors.

Senior defender Zoe Tublin is hopeful that a regular season in the spring will still occur and the fall league won’t be the last time she plays lacrosse at WJ.

“It is really nice to be able to be with everyone again considering the loss of our season last spring. I am trying to be optimistic in thinking that fall ball will just be us getting back into the swing of things like it usually is, as well as using it for prep for the real spring season. I hope I won’t have my senior season cut short,” Tublin said.

As for the boys team, they formed only one team for their fall league. The boys came out on top against Northwest in their first game this past Sunday. In this tight knit match, some freshman and transfer prospects took the reins to help win the game. Junior attacker JP Rakis was very impressed with some new players, as it gave him a positive outlook on what the spring will look like.

“I see a lot of good things in the new talent at WJ. Having fairly skilled freshmen come in is a very important thing. Adding new transfer players into the mix will hopefully change things up. I am really excited for what I think new players will bring to the team to help our overall game,” Rakis said.

As opposed to playing one game per week like lacrosse, baseball plays about three. Their games are played at either Montgomery Blair High School, Shirley Povich Field or Ridge Road Recreational Park. The league is made up entirely of MCPS teams, so it is a preview of the regular season. Junior shortstop/outfielder Sam Grande wants to use the fall to make up for a loss of team bonding in the spring and hopes to be using the fall to work towards a full 2021 season.

“The small spring season made it so that the older kids on the team don’t know the younger kids on the team that well as they would if we had a full season. I want to maybe try to use the fall games to get to know each other because we couldn’t this past season. In the spring, I hope we can play for the school and not just a league outside of school. I think we will overcome the missed season last spring,” Grande said.

While teams may have the fall to make up for the loss of a spring season, this won’t be enough to have a successful upcoming season. The extra time for preparation given by the new spring season start date will be utilized efficiently by these teams. WJ girls varsity coach Colleen Klipstein hopes to use this time to work on team chemistry and all around team play.

“I really hope the girls use fall ball to brush up on their skills and get back into playing together. I hope for the spring that the girls will come back strong after working hard in the offseason. The spring season has been pushed back by the state by almost two months. The extra time to prepare will help us a lot to account for the loss of the previous season. Having more time to develop and build together as a team will really pay off for us, whether it be an abbreviated season or not,” Klipstein said.

With the new announcement of a possible start of sports in early October, these WJ teams can be optimistic about having a season in the spring.