Southington High School may be in remote learning all week due to COVID concerns, but the school’s fall athletic programs do continue to play.
The girls soccer team won its first two games by shutout and will host Bristol Central and Bristol Eastern this week as scheduled, head coach Mike Linehan said on Monday’s Just For Kicks soccer podcast.
“I was informed on Friday there was not a varsity player being asked to quarantine. Thank God we have our full squad for the upcoming two games,” Linehan said.
The Blue Knights have 11 seniors on the team, including Linehan’s daughter, Brianna, an outside midfielder. Mike Linehan feels fortunate the games and practices are still going on after having two practices canceled last week when the school first went into remote learning.
“When we went to play our first game against New Britain (on Oct. 1), we’ve only been together a matter of just a handful of days,” Linehan said. “In terms of getting the team ready, that was very difficult. Even today, I don’t think we are 100 percent where we need to be because we haven’t trained as a team.”
The Blue Knights will host Bristol Central on Tuesday at 3:45 p.m, and Bristol Eastern on Friday at 6. Linehan said the team will hold its Senior Night on Friday – something many programs across the state are doing in case the season ends abruptly due to COVID concerns.
It’s sure to be an emotional scene for the head coach.
“It’s all about these seniors at this point and time,” Linehan said. “I come back next year …
These 11 don’t come back, including my daughter.”
Linehan said each team in Southington’s region can bring two people per player to home games, but none to away games.
He also said he keeps a thermometer in his back pocket for spot health checkups. The players know that can happen at any time.
Those same players also see what happened to their friends on the football team: a constant reminder of how fortunate they have it for as long as they have it.
“They watch the football players practice every single day. They still are weightlifting, yet they can’t play games,” Linehan said. “When we said we are all in this together, we truly are all in this together.”