For students at Charles Hays Secondary School, it can sometimes feel like the days can be be defined by basketball.
And for good reason. After the Rainmakers’ senior boys’ ball squad reached the provincial finals in mid-March, the sports buzz has been in full throttle at the school.
But according to athletics director Mel Bishop, the transition to the school’s spring’s programs is right around the corner.
“We’ve got girls’ soccer, golf and track and field (starting up),” said Bishop last Thursday.
Kyla Ragan, the coach of the girls’ soccer team, had the squad out last week practicing drills and finely-tuning the students’ fitness for the new season. There haven’t been too many students come out for soccer, Ragan explained, as basketball is mostly top-of-mind for students around the school.
“It’s all combined (into one team),” Ragan said, regarding the split junior and senior teams.
“There’s not enough girls for two. Soccer hasn’t been a big deal here for awhile, but we’re getting more girls out.”
Approximately 20 players took part in the meet and Ragan had them working on their conditioning.
“That’s what the last 15 minutes of practice is for,” said Ragan.
“For fitness and going all-out cardio-wise.”
The group knows each other well enough as they share classes and lunch breaks together. On-field chemistry is another challenge. The short season is interspersed with three tournament weekends, one hosted by the Rainmakers and zone championships taking place in May to punctuate the year.
That doesn’t leave a lot of room for long-term growth. But Ragan’s practice days will focus on plays and drills to instill a singular playbook with the team.
“These girls have been playing soccer all their lives and they know all the plays. It’s just getting them to play as a team is the part we struggle with with the short season,” said the coach.
Golf, rugby and badminton operate a few days a week, according to Bishop.
“We have golf here. There was actually no team last year, but every other year there have been teams. It’s just a matter of kids that (want to) play,” he said.
The track and field program is just beginning its season as well, and coach Dighton Haynes has pegged five meets between April and May.
Many students play more than one sport and the spring presents one last chance for the students to play before their summer break.