Let the games begin

Clinton County schools kick off high-risk sports
Published: Feb. 15, 2021 at 7:02 PM EST
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BEEKMANTOWN, N.Y. (WCAX) - Sports considered high risk can start practice in Clinton County schools. The governor gave the OK back in January for the winter season to start for sports like basketball, cheerleading and ice hockey. Our Kelly O’Brien found the student-athletes at Beekmantown Central School District wasted no time getting back in the game.

Students at Beekmantown Central School District may be on a school break but that didn’t stop the student-athletes from coming back and getting on the court.

The sounds that surround a basketball court are the sounds the student-athletes have missed so much. It’s been roughly a year since the team was on the same court.

“We’re a bit rusty,” said senior Parker Kelly, “but we’re getting there.”

Beekmantown Boys Varsity Basketball is back in action. Nate Finley, a senior on the team, says he’s grateful to be back.

“It just makes me come alive, it makes me feel so free and energetic,” he said.

The game is the same, the look is much different, the determination at an all-time high.

”It’s absolutely worth it,” said Finley. “I’ll do whatever it takes to get back on the court with my brothers.”

Varsity Coach Ryan Converse says the sport keeps students moving.

“For some of these guys it’s everything, that’s their motivation, that’s why they come to school,” Converse said.

Mandated changes for the season include masks for all athletes, coaches, and referees. The bleachers will stay empty and everybody’s temperature taken before each game or practice. Travel will remain limited to Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties, games scheduled with two weeks’ notice, the season wrapping up at the end of March.

“Trying to stay socially distant, wiping down things, disinfecting basketballs,” said Athletic Director Greg Myers. “There is just a lot of protocols that we are trying to follow just so we can keep this going.”

While it may not be the senior season the players have thought of since they were kids, the team and school plan to make every last second count.

“I love playing with these guys, we’ve been together since we were little kids,” said Kelly, “So, it feels good to end it together.”

Myers says the spring season for athletes is looking very promising and an extended season might occur with no state championships happening this year.

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