MARYLAND (WDVM) – December 6th marked the first date of winter sports in the state of Maryland, marking the starting point for the high school basketball season across the state for all public schools from Class 1A to 4A.
This will be the first full season schools will have a chance to compete in, since the 2019-2020 season was cut short before the playoffs because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For many teams, it means starting with essentially new rosters, barring a few returning players who were nearly two years youngers from the last time they played a full season.
“Yeah I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately.” said Williamsport’s Jevon Yarborough. “It’s crazy, like man. Feels like last week I was just playing my freshman year. And now I’m on varsity senior year. I mean it’s sad, but I’m excited. I’m ready.”
“I remember my sophomore year, making it almost all the way to states.” said Middletown’s Grace Stottlemeyer. “And that was such a fun experience, so I’m excited to help lead the team and all the underclassmen to get the same experience.”
For Middletown’s girls basketball team, they will be coached by Kara Nelson, who is serving her second stint as the head coach of the Knights. Her primary focus is to make sure her girls are able to experience a full season, and will take the necessary precautions to do so.
“The girls have really responded appropriately, and just being laser focused, ready to go. They’re excited to be back just as I am, so it’s gonna be a great thing.” said Kara.
Williamsport’s Ryan Grabill has enforced masking to the best of his team’s abilities during practice, and recommending social distance; echoing the same message of guaranteeing a sense of normalcy for his players.
“Crowds, student sections – everything that goes into playing high school basketball. Sounds like we’re gonna get to experience that starting tomorrow night.” said Grabill.
The Williamsport Wildcats boy’s basketball team will tip off against Clear Spring at home on Tuesday, at 7pm. The Middletown Knights girl’s basketball team will host the Urbana Hawks on Tuesday as well, at 7pm.