Townies prepare for start of 2021 winter season

Gymnastics will score as a team for first time in decades

By Mike Rego
Posted 12/30/20

EAST PROVIDENCE — The plan at the moment is for East Providence High School athletics to begin its 2021 winter sports season just after the New Year, according to District Athletic Director …

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Townies prepare for start of 2021 winter season

Gymnastics will score as a team for first time in decades

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — The plan at the moment is for East Providence High School athletics to begin its 2021 winter sports season just after the New Year, according to District Athletic Director Gregg Amore.

Amore said teams will be allowed to start practice on Monday, Jan. 4, which is the date set forth by the Rhode Island Interscholastic League. If all things remain as they are in regard to state and local COVID-19 pandemic related guidelines, then regular season games could start as soon as January 14 following the RIIL mandated 10-day preparation time.

The Townies commence practice January 4 although students and staff in the district will remain on distance learning until Monday, Jan. 11.

EPHS will sponsor traditional winter sports of boys’ and girls’ basketball, boys’ and girls’ swimming as well as boys’ and girls’ indoor track and hockey, Amore said.

Wrestling, because of its close contact and potential to spread the virus more readily, will not take place during the usual winter season, instead moving to the regular spring calendar of April to June.

The director also said competition cheerleading will not take place in the winter, moving to the “Spring 1” season planned by the RIIL to include football and girls’ volleyball. That season is expected to run mostly in the month of March.

Amore mentioned two other items of note.

Hockey, which for the last several years has enjoined in a co-op with other schools, the most recent being the Moses Brown School, will combine with Mt. Hope (Bristol-Warren) for the 2021 season.

Mt. Hope has opted not to return to in-person school attendance until January 7 and winter sports there will start on the same day.

The Huskies compete at the Division III level, last year compiling a 1-9-2 record. D-III boys’ hockey was one of the few winter sports to complete its 2019-20 season before the onset of the pandemic, the Exeter-West Greenwich/West Warwick co-op sweeping Pilgrim (Warwick) in the best of three final series, 2-0.

Likely the most significant aspect of the upcoming season at EPHS is the addition of gymnastics, a sport the school hasn’t sponsored as a team for some 40 years.

In the last couple of winters, athletes from the school have competed as individuals, though there were not enough students interested to form a viable group

The director cautioned, however, the team component may not last beyond this winter if the numbers can’t support it.

“We have a gymnastics team for the first time since the 1970s, which means we have four or five girls. We will still be practicing with another team, but we will have enough kids to register a team score,” Amore explained.

He added, “We have had individuals competing for years, but when you have four, and maybe five (gymnasts), we can record a team score for the first time in decades.”

Amore said the plan is for the Townies to practice with a partner program, though they will compete on their own. At the moment, the director said he is in contact with the likes Middletown, Portsmouth and Rogers to potential as schools with which to pair.

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