By Kyle Brennan, Citizen’s News
BEACON FALLS — For some Woodland senior student-athletes, this fall will be the last time they compete while wearing black and gold.
The pandemic-altered season isn’t ideal for anyone, but it’s been especially difficult for volleyball players and swimmers — and their parents.
Woodland administrators wanted to ease their pain as much as possible and found a middle ground on the indoor fan attendance policy last week. The revised policy allows two spectators per senior student-athlete at home volleyball matches and swim meets, according to school officials.
The policy went into effect Oct. 6, in time for the Hawks’ volleyball match against Seymour and Woodland’s virtual girls swim meet against Watertown.
Woodland had previously announced that no fans would be allowed for any indoor competitions with the exception of two spectators per senior for senior night festivities. Soccer matches and cross country meets allow two spectators per athlete at home events.
There are six seniors on the Hawks’ volleyball roster and nine on the swimming roster.
Volleyball coach Jim Amato said the limited crowd — and oftentimes a complete lack of a crowd in the gyms of other schools that still haven’t allowed indoor spectators — hasn’t had a major impact on the game.
“Once a match is in session, you’re more focused on the opponent than the fans,” Amato said. “Our JV team is pretty loud, so they can fill an arena with the noise. I don’t think the intensity from the teams we’re playing has gone away, and that desire to win is perennial.”