Virtual competition replacing live games amid a lost spring season

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MANCHESTER — Although the high school spring sports season was canceled throughout the state of Vermont, local athletes found themselves competing for their school in a different way.

Burr and Burton academy finished in first place in the "Vermont workout challenge" with 600 points. The idea of the challenge was to keep high school athletes in shape in case there was a spring sports season this year. BBA was one of seven girls lacrosse schools to compete in the challenge.

In total, 1832 individual workouts were reported. The challenge ran from March 23 until May 1.

The challenge, started by BBA girls lacrosse coach Jamie Blake, awarded one point for every workout self-reported by athletes. There was a cap of two workouts per day. Participants could choose from six different workout categories; cardio, strength, recovery, mental relaxation, play (lacrosse related drills), and game film.

Blake was happy with the amount of effort put into the unique competition and to reach over 1800 individual workouts.

"That's pretty amazing for seven teams to put in that amount of work towards their individual goals and for their team. It's really encouraging for the future, for every team," she said.

The winning team and top performers earned a reward. The athletes didn't earn a trophy or medal with this competition, but instead a key chain. The prize itself didn't matter for most, it was the bragging rights that came along with it.

The top individual

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performer was Margot Collins of Bellows Free Academy, who recorded 78 workouts. In total, there were 15 athletes who recorded at least 50 individual workouts.

Blake is proud of her BBA group for winning the challenge despite having the lowest number of athletes (11) participating. Some schools had as many as 24.

"We want to lead by example, and I'm really proud of my kids for stepping up," she said. "If we are going to get 11 kids that are fully committed, that are going to be the core of this program moving forward, then we are looking really good and I am really excited about that future."

This challenge was fueled by the competitive nature of the athletes. Each school wanted to show that they were the most dedicated team since they were unable to show their skills on the field.

"It's really cool to see the other schools and how high their numbers are, it makes us want to stay competing. It helps remind us that there are kids in other communities that are working," said Blake.

The BBA coach also pointed out that the challenge gave a team atmosphere that otherwise might be missing with players unable to practice or play together.

"It was really nice to be able to have something that they could focus on as a team, to be able to feel like they were competing as a team against other people in the state," said Blake.

Overall, Blake is happy that athletes throughout Vermont took the time to work on their game and better themselves despite a canceled season.

"It was definitely successful for the kids that took advantage of it."


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