BAR HARBOR — The life of a Mount Desert Island High School athlete is never dull, as summer practices started up this week.
Athletes from the football, cheering and volleyball teams, as well as boys and girls basketball and soccer teams, will have opportunities to work on their team and individual skills throughout the summer.
The open format of these practices can be especially helpful for incoming freshmen, who can use the opportunity to sample sports they may not have played in middle school before deciding if they want to try out for a team. It also presents an excellent time for coaches to begin getting to know all the student-athletes, an opportunity that is especially helpful for first time coaches, like new varsity soccer Coach May Dow.
New to the schedule this year is a weight-training program scheduled for two nights a week. Trainer Dan Vibert will be available for students who wish to start a strength and conditioning program. The program is open to all students, but many teams will take advantage of the time.
Practices are supervised by the coaching staffs. They are open to student-athletes entering grades 9-12, but attendance is not mandatory. No decisions about team placement are made until the actual tryouts.
Head volleyball Coach Corey Papadopoli said the main focus of the summer is fun. “Those kids that are new to the sport, we want to get them engaged in it, and the best way to do that is to have fun. We also have to shake off the rust for those that haven’t played in a while, so we use our summer practices for that as well.”
The Maine Principal’s Association’s “Sport Season Policy” defines summer recess as the time between the final spring season practice and Aug. 1. This is the only time outside of the actual season when high school coaches are allowed to work with their players. There is a mandatory break for all organized student-athlete activities from Aug. 1 until the first day of the fall sport practices, which falls on Aug. 17 this year.
Events on the summer schedule are as follows. They can also be found on the MDIHS Athletics webpage.
Girls’ Basketball: Tuesday and Thursday, 5-7 p.m.
Girls’ Soccer: Monday and Wednesday, 5-6:30 p.m.
Volleyball: Monday and Wednesday, 6-7:30 p.m.
Boys’ Basketball: Summer Leagues, open gym Thursday, 7-8:30 p.m.
Football: 7 on 7 in Ellsworth, Wednesday, 6 p.m.
Boys’ Soccer: Monday and Wednesday, 6-7:30 p.m.
Cheering: Tuesday and Thursday, 4-5:30 p.m.
Weight Training: Tuesday and Thursday, 6-8 p.m.