Blue Devil athletes are completely committed to being the best they can possibly be and Huntington UFSD is totally committed to them.
In the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the disruptions it has created in the normal life of schools, Huntington UFSD’s commitment to its long cherished interscholastic athletics program remains just as strong as ever.
It is hard to believe that no Blue Devil athlete has competed interscholastically since early last March when Huntington High School boys’ and girls’ indoor track relays both won New York State championships. That’s nine long months ago.
The layoff has hit everyone hard, especially the athletes and coaches. Athletic department officials have been in regular communication with the coaches of every sports program. Everyone has been hoping the pandemic would relent to the extent that play could resume. Although “high risk” sports are still indefinitely on hold, several winter sports are slated to resume on January 4.
Despite the long hiatus, Huntington coaches have been planning their schedules, going through their equipment and supplies and determining what, if anything, is needed once play does resume and creating workouts for teams that have been permitted to participate in pre-season training programs. They’ve done plenty more behind the scenes for individual athletes.
The district has maintained its financial commitment to the middle school and high school athletics program along with its commitment to coaching staff members. Everything is in place to resume the entire program once the state allows it.
Coaches are accessible to the athletes in their programs and are helping them in ways big and small, including those who are navigating through the college recruiting process. Keeping spirits up is among the tasks coaches are attending to on a daily basis. Maintaining interest in each sports program is also very high on the list of every coach.
As COVID-19 vaccines are being made available, everyone is starting to see some light emerging at the end of the long tunnel. When the pandemic does finally relent, Huntington UFSD intends to be well-positioned to restart the entire athletic program and immediately provide students with the exceptional experience that has long been a Blue Devil tradition.
During the hiatus the district has improved many of the facilities used by the sports program. Blue Devil Stadium has seen the entire turf field replaced, a new system of protective netting installed, renovation of the running track where needed and new goalposts. The high school baseball field has an extensive new system of protective netting affixed to large poles that extend far into the air. The gymnasium floors at Huntington High School, J. Taylor Finley Middle and Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School have been completed refurbished, including repainted court lines and center-court Huntington logos.
Grass fields have been aerated, seeded and fertilized. Efforts are currently underway to completely clean and reorganize the expansive athletic storage area beneath the high school gym. Additional improvements are on the drawing board.
Coaches are constantly looking ahead. They know that the athletes are the key to each program’s success. Keeping students interested and motivated and helping them get through this very challenging time is keeping every coach busy.