DGSOC warmup before practice

With a cool breeze at a recent preseason Delta High School girls soccer practice, members of the 2021 soccer team get the blood circulating before beginning practice.

There’s no way to begin describing the impact COVID-19 has had on teams preparing for Season D and the number of athletes who will compete in each sport offered. For Delta High School girls soccer coach Elaine Wood, the realization of a reduction in numbers may be more real than not.

“As I stated earlier, having the season go after school is out and into June may impact who plays. There are players who will elect to work or do other things because the season is so late,” stated Wood.

Wood also notes there were between 17 and 19 girls who joined the team during the week for open field activities. “The girls are enjoying the time to play and build relationships. That is always an important part because of players coming from all areas of the district. We believe we will have enough girls to field two teams this season,” commented Wood.

With no season a year ago, the Panthers do not have any returning letter winners to base comparisons on and form an educated statement concerning leadership or build a totally realistic starting lineup for the season.

One thing that has already been a pleasing component to the soccer season is a location where the Panthers will now call home. The Delta Middle School football field has been designated as the official home for Delta High School soccer and is the site where both practices and games are to be held, which hasn’t been the case for all of soccer since the beginning of the program.

Wood, in her 19th season coaching high school soccer, will have Audrey Reedy as her assistant coach with Eddie Sanford also joining the coaching staff as he has done for many years.

The Panthers have a 10-game schedule, beginning on May 8 at Aspen and ending the regular season in Montrose on June 6. Postseason soccer play begins on June 15 with state finals scheduled for June 26.

As unfortunate as it is, sports have suffered a horrible wound that has affected the daily routines of every student-athlete across the country. Robbing from Peter to pay Paul is going to make the end of the 2021 prep sports year one of the strangest finishes in the history of high school athletics.

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