Prospective athletes had to wait to try out Monday for the New Haven sports teams.
With the heat index being over 95, new Athletic Director Jaime Hoener made the call Sunday night to postpone the opening day. All three teams had plans to move to 7 p.m. practices if it was too hot and that’s exactly what happened.
Hoener’s volleyball team had five seniors, seven juniors, eight sophomores and six freshmen try out. Hoener indicated all will make the final teams.
“The first day of practice went well,” Hoener said. “It was a little warm in the gym, but the girls were very talkative and had great attitudes. We’re looking forward to getting back at it today (Tuesday).”
Doug Peirick takes over the New Haven softball program this year and he had 12 players come out on the opening day with three seniors, three juniors, two sophomores and four freshmen making the practice.
All 12 will make the final team.
“Practice went well,” Peirick said. “The girls were eager to get started, were attentive, and worked hard at doing things the correct way.”
John Tucker’s cross country team had eight girls and 10 boys come out on the opening day.
For the girls there are three seniors, three juniors and two sophomores. On the boys side, four seniors, two juniors, three sophomores and one freshman practiced Monday. All will make the team.
“Those who did our summer running program and continued to run through the dead periods looked good,” Tucker said. “We’re certainly not district ready, but definitely in good shape. As with every season, I get kids all along the spectrum from in shape to really out of shape. The real key is to make early evaluations and then set individual improvement goals based on that.”
Tucker indicated it still was pretty hot at 7 p.m.
“Even then, it was pretty steamy,” Tucker said. “I understand the necessity for changing practice times for safety reasons but it definitely changes what you can do. Daylight or lack of it suddenly becomes a factor, we finished in the dark tonight. The last thing I want is for runners to be on the roads at dusk without proper illumination.”
Tucker said the team ran its home course in the New Haven City Park.
“Tonight, we worked through our warm up routine and then did a timed 5K on our course in the city park,” Tucker said. “It gave me the early data I use to develop goals and also keeps the runners in a safe environment with plenty of water available. I feel overall it was a good start to the season under less than ideal conditions. I felt the athletes for the most part put forth good effort and focused when they needed to.”