Athletes on the Road Again

Team Returns to Travel Traditions


Photo by Jane Clark

Senior Sydney Ghorayeb battles for the ball with a Fort Worth Country Day player.

by Lacy Green, Staff Writer

After over a year of traditions and protocols being altered due to the pandemic, varsity athletes are seeing some progression to normal practices. Last year, mask mandates varied by season and changed throughout the year. During the fall and winter seasons, indoor and outdoor sports

were required to wear masks during practice and competition. The spring season athletes were

required to wear masks during practice, but not for game play.

This year, indoor fall athletes continue wearing masks to practice and on the bench. However, while playing in the game they are allowed to remove their masks, while their spectators must wear masks. Masks for outdoor athletes and their spectators are optional. Mask mandates are subject to change for the winter and spring season as the COVID-19 circumstances change.

In terms of travel regulations, the rules varied by season on who athletic teams could play as well as how they were allowed to travel for competition. Specifically for the 2020 fall season, since athletes were not permitted to travel together on team buses to any away games, all transportation was organized by each individual player and her family. In addition, teams were not allowed to play teams outside of the North Zone so all away games were within the DFW area.

This year the travel protocols have significantly changed and have become more relaxed for fall athletes. For away games, charter buses and Hockabuses are now being used at full capacity to transport athletes to and from their games. Masks are required on all buses.

In addition to athletic competition, the Upper School looks forward to the return of athletic festivities such as the Color Run Oct. 4, the Fall SPC Championship in Dallas Nov. 4-6 as well as the return of SPC rallies. While Coach Deb Surgi, director of athletics, and the rest of the athletic department are excited to bring these events back to campus, they are aware that it is all subject to change.

“We will continue to plan events while simultaneously assessing COVID-19 protocols weekly, sometimes daily, given the changing landscape,” Surgi said.

On Sept. 9, the Varsity Field Hockey team boarded a charter bus and made the trip to Houston to compete in its first out-of-area SPC competition since the onset of the pandemic. They played three games, winning one and losing two. While senior and junior players already had the experience of traveling out of town with the team, this was a first for the underclassmen, including sophomore Taylor Hua.

“My first experience traveling out of town with the team was so much fun,” Hua said. “Last year, we didn’t get to travel for field hockey, but everything about the trip to Houston – the bus ride, team meals, games – was the best.”

Led by senior Riley Carter, the team held a 2-3-2 record as of Sept. 20. Their performance in upcoming SPC games will determine the team’s standing going into the SPC tournament in early November.