The Long Beach Public Schools’ Athletic Department put a plan into action so that students can participate in strength, conditioning and skill development opportunities despite the delayed fall sports season. A high school program has been underway since September 29 and draws a total of 330 attendees on alternating days. The middle school kicked off a similar initiative for grades 7 and 8 on Oct. 13, and sixth-grade intramurals started on the 20th.
These programs are open to all students who choose to enroll; they do not have to commit to a team or try out, and busing is provided. At Long Beach High School, athletes have been out on the fields and courts for soccer, cross country, football, volleyball, boys badminton, girls field hockey, cheerleading and girls tennis, and in the pool for girls swimming. Soon, the featured sports will switch over to another set of offerings.
The field hockey team is new this year at Long Beach High School. Seniors Lainie Kassap and Morgan Polete advocated for the sport after seeing it in neighboring communities and taking interest.
“It’s really fun and we’re looking pretty good!” said Lainie. “Everyone is really nice -- we’re feeding off each other’s energy.”
“Everyone is starting off in the same spot,” said Morgan.
Students take part in drills and workout sessions to enhance strength, agility, speed and flexibility. In addition to building up their sport-specific techniques, the athletes boost their overall wellness and health by exercising and staying active during these uncertain times.
“It’s unique but gives us a great opportunity to play and be safe,” said senior Dylan Goldstein.
Long Beach Middle School seventh- and eighth-graders are engaged in workouts for soccer, cross country, football and boys tennis, and the sixth-grade opportunity features various safe and fun sport activities determined by the teachers.