What an old front page says about 2020-21 preps sports
Whatever happened to Alec Moritz?
One of my favorite front pages of the Vail Daily is our Nov. 11, 2012 edition. The headline reads “Huskies win it all,” and the Battle Mountain soccer team, led by Joe LyBarger, is holding up the state-title trophy down at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in the middle of a snowstorm.
It was a magical end to a magical season, and I’d bet the coach David Cope has several copies in his basement.
The funny thing about that front page, a copy signed by a lot of the players hangs in the lobby of our office in EagleVail, is the weather graphic. The kids of assorted local grade schools draw varied weather scenes (rain, snow, sun, etc.) and we use them with the appropriate forecast.
On Nov. 11, 2012, a fourth-grader from St. Clare of Assisi did the honors with a cubist/impressionist interpretation of snow. Alec Moritz turned out to be a better 3-point shooter than an artist at Vail Christian. Moritz graduated this month.
The point of this trip down nostalgia lane? As seasons end — even one of the best campaigns ever — the next generation is on its way.
Saturday was the last of our high school graduations marking the end of the 2019-20 school year and athletic season, such as it was. That also means it’s time to get to work on 2020-21.
I’m not a doctor or public-health official, and I’ll leave the COVID-19 analysis to them. I’m just thinking that everyone involved with schools and sports wants to see students back in their buildings in a normal learning environment as long as it’s healthy. Things, knock wood, seem to be trending correctly as far as the coronavirus goes.
With schools hopefully opening this fall, we hope that sports return as well. And this offseason, it’s more incumbent than ever on student-athletes to work. Of course, there are no organized, required team workouts during the summer. No, sir. That would be against the rules.
However, if you’re a cross-country runner who happens to have a workout plan for the summer, get going.
If you’re a football player, you can practice social distancing by throwing a football. Perhaps you can lift some weights at home or do so as gyms open up safely in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines. Get going.
You play soccer? Juggling drills, people. You can do that by yourself. You can also go find a patch of grass and knock the ball around. Again, in the interests of social distancing, coaches Cope, Maggie Sherman and Alex Darbut want their teams to play wide, so pass that ball while staying away from each other. Get going.
Volleyball players? Play outside. The weather’s good. Play 2-on-2. That helps you round out your skill set. Get going.
Golfers: Hit the range and play. Drive for show. Putt for dough, which means work on your short game this summer. It’s where you score. Get going. (As a bonus hint: Play better than Freud.)
The 2012 Huskies won their state title, yes, because they were good, but they also worked during the offseason as well. And as their front page shows, there’s also always someone working to be better than you even if he’s in the fourth grade.
Get going, everybody.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.