Framingham Athletic Director: ‘We Won’t Be Focusing On Wins, Losses’ When Sports Returns But The ‘Experience’

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FRAMINGHAM – “We are currently putting the finishing touches on our plans to return to athletics,” wrote Framingham High’s athletic director to families today, February 5.

“With so much in flux and so many moving parts challenges to create missed seasons still exist. We will be careful releasing only information that we feel will be accurate and not subject to change however anything we do will be based on all return to school plans, timelines, and protocols with potential for adjustments at any time,” wrote Athletic Director Paul Spear today.

“As a former coach and now as Athletic Director I have extensive knowledge of how important the athletic experience can be to student athletes. I know firsthand how the bonds between coaches, athletes, and their shared experiences contribute to the lifelong success of our student athletes. We all recognize that the COVID pandemic has robbed us of these experiences … until now,” wrote Spear.

The Framingham Public School district had announced last month a target date of February 22 to start the Fall II MIAA athletic season, this is a special fourth season of athletics this school year.

Fall II sports include:

  • Boys and Girls Cross Country
  • Boys and Girls Soccer
  • Co-Ed Field Hockey
  • Girls Volleyball
  • Girls Swim & Dive
  • Unified Basketball
  • Football
  • Co-Ed Golf

But today, Athletic Director Spear wrote “What we have learned over the last year is that life is truly unpredictable. We have also learned that no matter how difficult the circumstances we must find reasons for optimism and continue to deal with what we can control in a positive way. We know that the return to athletics may not be perfect, it may come with stops and starts, but we are prepared to begin and make the best out of whatever opportunities we are afforded.”

Spear cautioned families that the athletic seasons “will vary in length and breadth of experience. Each team’s season will have varying numbers of competitions with some unable to play games. That said our coaches and our staff are trying to find ways to manufacture meaningful experiences in the sports we have missed. Like everything during the pandemic this effort will require patience, flexibility, and positivity. It will require us to embrace the core reasons we engage in athletics. Our goal is to renew the bonds of friendship, renew the bonds of mentoring by coaches, and to provide a shared positive experience.”

It appears the one season that may not happen is the winter sports season in the 2020-21 school year.

“As a parent I have seen COVID take seminal moments of my kids’ lives and I have a firm grasp on the sadness and despair that young people have felt during this awful time,’ wrote Spear. “During my tenure at Framingham High School I have experienced the passion this city has for its teams and our athletes. As Athletic Director I have a competitive spirit and love to see our teams win but what means more to me than that is the passion our athletic staff, coaches, athletes, and fans have for our programs. More than ever our primary and almost sole focus will be about creating the experiences that COVID has so far taken away. We won’t be focusing on wins, losses, or personal achievements but on being together and enjoying the experience.”

“Over the next few weeks we will steadily release specific information regarding registration, practice times and facilities, and all other relevant information regarding our teams,” concluded Spear.

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Graphic by Walsh Middle School student Yonathan Kimyagarov

editor

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