Planning during a pandemic
HORSEHEADS - Big Horn Lacrosse Club, based in Chemung County, is slated to begin July 1 after months of uncertainty.
Due to the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and state restrictions surrounding it, planning for the program has been frenetic for the club, which is in only its second year.
“Every week or two we get a curveball thrown our way,” Big Horn Lacrosse co-founder Chris Spaulding said. “We were so pumped about our second season, and [COVID-19] had thrown a wrench into things.”
In comparison, the club last season held its first practice during the first week of June.
One obstacle that the club has faced is finding a tournament in the area, after their first option, the 1812 Shootout in Watertown, was canceled two weeks ago after initially planning to go forward.
“We had to scramble around and found two other options, thankfully,” said Splaulding.
This season, Big Horn Lacrosse Club is now projected to play in: The Saratoga Shootout for the JV and Varsity players, and the Dick’s All-American Lax Jam Tournament in Syracuse for fifth- and sixth- as well as seventh- and eighth-graders.
The club also is planning to host a youth camp at a date still to be determined due to schedule reshuffling.
With events to begin on July 1, the club has committed to follow CDC health guidelines for operating during the pandemic.
Spaulding and co-founder Jason Neubauer, Horseheads varsity boys lacrosse coach, pride themselves on playing fast and aggressive -- something that will need to be scaled back with the current restrictions and guidelines in place.
“We’ll have normal practice, we just have to scale it down,” said Spaulding. “More skele work, position work. Stuff on air. One of the biggest things is kids’ conditioning. Bringing their own water jugs, not huddling up and screwing around, and talking to them from a distance.”
U.S. Lacrosse has set forth guidelines to follow for clubs when holding camps and tournaments amid the pandemic at https://www.uslacrosse.org/return-to-play.
The club has even made contingency plans in the case of a large number of sign-ups for its youth camp.
“We talked about, if we have 50 sign-ups for the youth camp, we set up five different stations with five different coaches,” Spaulding said. “We are looking to accomplish the same things in a smaller group model.”
After losing out on high school seasons, Spaulding said he thinks kids are ‘itching’ to get back on the field and play the game they love. Especially those who are looking for an opportunity to play lacrosse at the next level.
Despite the reshuffling and rescheduling of youth camps and tournaments in this unprecedented time, the goal of the club is clear.
“[We’re] going to keep them as safe as possible and give them an opportunity to play the game they love,” said Spaulding.
For questions on Big Horn Lacrosse Club or for registration, reach out to either firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
*** Editors note: The 2020 Big Horn Lacrosse Youth Camp was rescheduled on Wednesday after print deadline. The tentative dates are now August 11, 12 and 13. ***