Hilton starts fall sports practice

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — High school fall sports practice kicked off on time after many were switched to spring last year due to the pandemic.

Hilton High School student-athletes and their coaches say it’s about time to get back to what it was like pre-COVID and get the games back on track once schools reopen next month.

The school’s LeBeau Field had all the familiar sounds of a boys’ soccer practice Monday afternoon as both veteran players, and guys trying to make the team took part in their first practice of the year. Assistant Soccer Coach Scott Meagher is helping the team prepare for its first match of the year.

"It’s very exciting feeling to kind of get back to a bit more of more normal procedures out here, it’s exciting to see the boys really anxious to get back to some sense of normalcy, and play a full season," Meagher said.

As soccer took up one field, the Boys’ Varsity Football team practiced on another. Head Football Coach Rich Lipani has 10 days of practice to get through before facing Monroe High School on Sept. 3. Right now it’s all about keeping everyone healthy and in shape.

"We’re already banged up, and we haven’t even started the season yet, but it’s also important for them to get here, and do some things over the summer, and prepare themselves, give themselves some better opportunity to earn some playing time," Lipani said.

But for the players like Carter Clark, it’s all about playing their games in the fall.

"It’s gonna be great, back to normal. Fans are going to be here. It’s going to be packed. We’re going to be tough, run the ball like always. We’re just get back to Hilton Football like how we usually are," Clark said.

Over at Rush-Henrietta High School, one team prepares for its second season of the year, while another team is still trying to get by with current covid rules and restrictions.

Players on the high school football team are picking up where they left off just a few months ago. The pandemic forced many fall sports teams to play their games in the Spring. With the new school year about to start, everyone including Head Football Coach Jason Collins are looking forward to the new athletic season.

"I didn’t sleep last night, so I didn’t get any sleep last night," Collins said. "The adrenalin started flowing around 2 in the morning, and you know our staff did a great job of preparing for today. Our kids know our expectations. They’re very clear, and they’ve done a good job so far today."

Collins’ players are ready to get back on the gridiron in an effort to move up to the next level.

"I see that it’s going to be a good opportunity for us to get recruited, and stuff like that, and the fans," said running back Jayden Scott. "It’s just even better."

"Being able to play normally, and having a full season instead of just six games is really good," said left tackle Sam Bawden.

The girls Junior Varsity soccer team is also getting ready for their season. Coach Kristina Duritza says she’s a bit overwhelmed with all the covid rules, and regulations.

"We’ve been given what the regulations are, but I feel like they’re still changing moment to moment. So right now we’re just trying to play with the rules, and get as many girls as we can to experience the best they can for high school sports," Duritza said.

Although the girls are excited to be back, Duritza still faces some challenges.

"It’s been a little bit more difficult to get them cleared because of the covid clearance we had to go through. It’s still a little different this year, and it’s been a difficult process. Very stressful for the kids, and for their parents," Duritza said.