GLEN RIDGE, NJ-- As April moves into May, the hope for a spring sports season in New Jersey high school athletics is still up in the air.
At Glen Ridge High, the softball team, like all others, are in a wait-and-see approach. But while the team can't practice, or play its schedule, head coach Rachael Hogan is doing her best to create a virtual schedule.
"We get together (via Google Meet) a few times a week," said Hogan. "Actually, our meetings are on what would be game days, and we meet at 4 p.m., which is when our games normally start. We talk about how we would have done in that game."
The Ridgers do an in-season prediction for the result of each game, which prompted a friendly question from this writer.
"Were you undefeated, so far?"
"No, we lost to Montclair," Hogan said, with a laugh. "But it was an SAT day, so we didn't have our full team."
There are also exchanges of ESPN sports videos and some inspirational quotes.
It's been that kind of season, as coaches work hard to keep the interest in their student-athletes, while the 2020 season continues without actual games.
Hogan, a Glen Ridge High graduate, as well as a member of the school's Hall of Fame and an educator in her home town, is staying busy, teaching her classes on line, as well as spending quality time with daughters, Charlotte, 8, and Addison, 5.
"Normally, this time of year, I don't get this time with my children," said Hogan. "So, as far as that goes, it's been nice. Charlotte is in the third grade. She's been taking her classes, on line. She's much better at computers than I am. With Addison, she'd be in pre-school, but since she's home, she's keeping herself occupied, too, with different activities."
Hogan also noted that this year's senior class is very special to her, and the emotion in her voice signified that.
"We have eight returning seniors, and one first-year senior," said Hogan. "When those kids were freshmen, they were a part of our rebuilding program. It's a void in my life, not coaching them in the usual way this spring. I've always said I spend more time with the team than I do my own family during the spring. It's difficult, and it does move me."
The team captains this year are seniors Taylor Townson, Ava Rollo, Ali Cerruto and Sarina Robik. Townson will play centerfield, Rollo is a shortstop, Cerruto is a pitcher and Rovik will see action at second base. The senior class also includes Hannah O'Connor, Catie Lamberson, Emmy Levy, Leah Chodosh and Angelie Roy.
The juniors are Andrea Schnack, Jillian Goffe and Jada English while the a large sophomore class features Caroline Auborn, Izzy Polansky, Kyra Constantino, Rylee Allen, Amanda Garrido, Avery Dowd, Elettra Giantomenico, Halle Muney, Ella Strong, Alison Ing-Hanes, Beth Lamberson, Marguerite Wusinich, Tyler Ann Cetrino and Olivia Link.