ARLINGTON -- It is finally beginning to feel more like spring and with it comes the start of a new sports season.
Track and field was suppose to kick things off in Arlington with a pre-season meet in Fair Haven this Thursday. While that meet was canceled, the season is expected to start next Thursday, April 10, at Fair Haven.
With the pre-season meet canceled, Arlington track and field coach Bianca Hoose said that she and co-coach Seth Woodman will use the time to better prepare the athletes for all of the events before their first meet.
While other sports such as baseball and softball - both in Arlington and elsewhere - have experienced problems with the number of kids participating, the trend is quite different for Arlington’s track and field team as their numbers are up slightly.
"This year our numbers steadily grew to over 25. We even have a large middle school team that starts this week," said Hoose via e-mail. "I think that team has also grown. Every day someone else joins."
About 20 members of this year team are returning members including seniors Peter Macksey, Payton Agresta, Amber Welch, and Bhumika Patel. What’s more, of the 25 members of the team there is about an equal division among boys and girls. Last year, Arlington was just barely able to field a boys team - something that they do not have to worry about this season.
As to why the sport has grown over the past season, Hoose said she believes there are a couple of reasons.
"My team the past two years has slowly gotten bigger. The more kids that join, the more they talk about track," Hoose said. "A lot of my athletes have convinced others of the benefits of track and most importantly, how much fun they have doing it. Also, I think there is a change in what sports play a major role in the community here. Track has been getting bigger while interest in baseball and softball has been waning."
A definitive roster has not yet been set, but Hoose said there are some athletes she expects to be competing in certain events once the season starts.
"In the upcoming season, most athletes will be trying new events in the beginning," said Hoose. "Some returning athletes really are pushing to better themselves in events they feel they can succeed in. Amber Welch and Peter Macksey have always done well in discus. Peter Macksey should be returning with his hurdles [and] Bhumika Patel [is looking] forward to relay."
In addition to the increasing number of students participating in the sport, the addition of Woodman as a co-coach is also a change. Having someone to help with the coaching responsibilities has been beneficial so far, Hoose said, as she and Woodman plan team drills and teach and coach everything more effectively.
Coming into the season, Hoose said the athletes are in good shape and have been working hard over the past week. Due to that - as well as the size of the team - she is looking forward to the upcoming season.
"We have some real athletes this year and I am very excited to see them run - from freshman all the way up to my seniors," Hoose said. "Coach Woodman and I feel like we have a great season to look forward to."