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Coaching swim team
Chris Komenda

EHS Coaches Adapt to Provide Great Experiences for Student-Athletes

With many athletic leagues halting competition and our own COVID-19 protocols preventing outside games and matches, Eagle Hill’s athletic department and coaches have had to be flexible and creative to provide our athletes a real and meaningful experience. Guided by comprehensive health and safety protocols, EHS coaches haven’t been hampered by the unorthodox nature of their respective seasons.

“I’m very pleased with our girls’ basketball season. We have used the extra practice time to work on every aspect of the game and get quality repetitions in an effort to create good habits,” said longtime EHS girls’ basketball coach, Ken Leyva.

Without the pressure of a typically jam-packed game schedule, teams have been able to take their time and focus their efforts on student-athletes individual play, where much of a normal season is focused on team dynamics.

“It’s definitely strange in some regards, but overall it’s been very rewarding to have the extra time with each individual player. Usually, so much of our season is cramming in plays and practicing different game-like situations, but the time has allowed coaches to take a step back, evaluate our players, and adapt practices based on what their skills and needs are,” said Matt LaCoille, varsity boys’ basketball coach.

Coach LaCoille also added, “To keep it interesting, we’ve incorporated some weekly games and fun competitions to keep the intensity up for our squad. Obviously coming into the season after having won the league championship last year, we were all a little bummed to not be playing a full schedule of games. Overall though, I think the boys feel fortunate to be at school in-person and are enjoying being around each other and playing the game they love.”

The opportunity to spend time with one another has created a strong comradery on each team, something that can often get overlooked in a regular season.

“It’s much easier to see the friendships grow and their skills improve when you are in this environment. A shining highlight is how competitive our scrimmages are despite having many newcomers to the game of basketball. It’s been really refreshing to watch,” said Leyva.

Longtime Eagle Hill coach Ian Kelly also echoed these sentiments in regards to his wrestling program. “The members of the team (both returning and first-year) have responded to the circumstance of being an athlete during this season very admirably. Their effort is incredible and they are almost always asking for greater challenges. In particular, they all want to have more time wrestling against each other. It’s been incredible to see,” said Kelly.

As the winter season prepares to wrap up over the coming week and we prepare to usher in the spring sports season, our athletic programs are taking every opportunity to improve mentally and physically, both on and off of the court.

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