The fall sports teams did not let the extreme heat during the first practices of the season mess with their victories
The first several days of school were a hot mess. Literally.
All the eager freshmen and already desperate-to-leave seniors filed into school while temperatures soared into the high 80s and 90s nearly everyday. While these disgustingly hot temperatures were no match for the ELHS truly outstanding, and I mean truly outstanding, air conditioning systems, it caused a slew of problems for sports teams practicing in the North and South Gyms and outside on the turf and other practice fields.
The only areas in the school that does not get blasted with an arctic freeze are the gymnasiums. Ultimately, the lack of air conditioning and the high temperatures outside turned both gyms into ovens with only fans to cool down the athletes. The north gym became so hot that the temperature eventually reached 98.1 degrees.
“We had to shorten our practice time a little, we did more individual type skill work instead of a team high intensity work out, and we could not condition,” said volleyball coach Jack Biggs.
The heat may have messed with the team’s practice, it did not stop the Lady Vikes from defeating Guilford and Waterford in their first two games.
“The team stepped up and did a lot of nice things in the game so we are where I thought we were going to be, but still we need to practice different pieces of the game we are not good at yet and we were not able to do that because we had to shorten up the practices,” said Biggs.
Not only did the heat disrupt practices in the gym, but it also affected turf time and practices outside. Multiple practices were pushed back and even cancelled because of the dangerous temperatures thus causing a loss in practice time and having to share the fields with other teams. Three practices for both field hockey and boys’ soccer were disrupted or altered to cope with the heat.
Field hockey coach Kristy Behbehani took her team into the commons for a team activity where they wrote their goals for this season to decorate the bench. Later in the day when the temperatures cooled a little, the team then practiced basic stick skills outside to stay sharp.
Boys’ soccer coach Paul Christensen gave his team a water break every 15 minutes and dialed back the conditioning. Football coach Rudy Bagos also made sure to give his team frequent water breaks and they were forced to shorten drills they needed to cover for games.
However, the teams were still prepared for victory. Varsity field hockey won their opener against North Branford, reigning state champions of Class S, and defeated Norwich Free Academy in their second game.
The varsity football team opened with two tight losses, but later rebounded with a victory against Windham.
Boys’ varsity soccer won all three of their games against Waterford, Old Lyme, and Ledyard.
Senior and varsity soccer player Akhil Chilamkurthi says the soccer team was a ready as they could have been.
“We were as prepared as we were going to get. We pretty much had the starting line up so it was a matter of putting it into a game situation and seeing how it worked out,” said Chilamkurthi.
Clearly all of these victories prove that no matter the circumstances or conditions the Vikings are placed under, vikings always persevere and do what they can to come out with a victory.