The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Spring into action: Why the spring sports season is racing by faster than ever

Photo courtesy of @wchsgirlstennis_ on Instagram
WCHS Girls Tennis Varsity Captain Sasha Stupak, left, and Ingrid Yang, right, smile after a win against Walter Johnson High School.

Sports are extremely competitive and a huge part in MCPS, especially at WCHS. Every school year, fall sports are given around 18 weeks for the regular season and winter sports 20 weeks. In stark contrast, spring sports only have eight. WCHS athletics director, Jesse Smith, cannot control the number of weeks given to the sports but still works with getting the most games possible scheduled for the spring so that athletes and coaches can get the most out of the season.

“There’s really no one reason for why [the spring season is] so short,” Smith said. “There are factors such as spring break and graduation; it’s just the way it is. We have to have our regular seasons ending at a certain time for playoff seeding and we are not allowed to start before March first, but all of our teams have more than 10 games during the season.”

The major problem with squeezing games into eight weeks is that it leaves teams with less time to practice. WCHS junior and varsity girls tennis captain, Sasha Stupak, feels this has put pressure on her and her teammates to get ready for the season as fast as possible even if they are not completely ready.

“We get less time to prep as a team,” Stupak said. “Compared to fall and winter, we don’t have as many days to practice, put together our squad and our coach isn’t able to help us out as much. In previous years, we had about two months for our season, and this year it just all feels cramped into one month.” 

Story continues below advertisement

Part of being a successful athlete is being able to get criticism and help from your coaches, but spring players are left with barely any time to get that help and time to fix their game. Additionally, coaches do not have enough time to go in-depth with their players one by one and fix their flaws.

“Last year, we had about one to two games a week, and during practice, we had time to talk about technique and all of that,” Stupak said. “This year, we have like one practice a week because so many matches are scheduled, and we talk more about strategy than going in-depth with technique.” 

Fall and winter contain the most popular MCPS sports, with football in the fall and basketball in the winter. Sports in both of those seasons are comparatively able to get two times the amount of practice, games, and post-season action than spring sports.

“The fall season also starts during the summer, which gives sports a few extra weeks before the school year even begins to start preparing,” Smith said. “As for winter, it does overlap with the fall season and even goes into the start of the spring season, but just by a bit. The spring season can’t be extended into June unless the county does something.”

As an athlete, Stupak feels the effect of having less time to be coached and more games being cramped together. As captain, she also gets to see how it affects her players, especially doubles players who especially need to communicate with their partners.

“It is [unfair] for athletes who play spring sports because the cramped games and fewer practices cause so much stress, so we have less time to fix [our mistakes] between games,” Stupak said. “Especially because it’s AP season, it makes it hard to focus and play since there’s so much going on.”

While Smith acknowledges that the spring season is extremely condensed and players have little time to do a lot, it is what they signed up for and for a lot of players, what they have been training to do for over half of their lives.

Spring athletes have to understand they are going to have a lot going on in a short period of time,” Smith said. “They need to make sure they are keeping themselves healthy, staying on top of grades, and taking advantage of each day.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Amari Suissa
Amari Suissa, Internal Communications Manager
Amari Suissa is currently a sophomore at WCHS and this is her second year taking journalism. Amari was initially interested in taking this class because she wanted to be an author when she was young. In her free time, Amari likes to watch the MLB and NFL, play softball, and hang out with family.

Comments (0)

All The Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *