Marshall High signing ceremony

Marshall HIgh School's online signing ceremony. (From Marshall)

Live events have been held online all over, so yes, there has been some bit of a local spring high-school sports season.

The real season was canceled in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving no games, matches, meets or real sports action to be held.

Madison High School baseball coach Mark Gjormand and Wakefield High boys basketball coaches Tony Bentley and Horace “Buck” Willis have initiated weekly online discussions with varying topics.

Bentley, the head coach, and Willis, an assistant, recently hosted an interview with Arlington’s three public-school head high-school football coaches – Wakefield’s Wayne Hogwood, Washington-Liberty’s Josh Shapiro and Yorktown’s Bruce Hanson.  

The duo, which has named its program the “Buck & Tony Show,” has an ongoing program to choose the best
player, from an original list of 64, during their 19-season coaching tenure at Wakefield. The final selection likely won’t be revealed until sometime in June.

Another three-part show had the two interviewing players from the 1990 region champion Wakefield boys basketball team.

“We are trying to keep busy and are doing different things we think will be fun to watch,” Bentley said. “This all has been a lot of fun.”

Gjormand’s weekly Zoom webinars air Wednesday afternoons under the National Sports Coaches Alliance heading. They are self-help, information and story-telling discussions with questions and answers among coaches of all levels, sports and genders from around the U.S. and internationally, with no Xs and Os talk.

Former Marshall High School football standout Keith Lyle was one of the featured guests. Lyle played for the Super Bowl champion St. Louis Rams years ago, and is now a youth coach.

Other featured guests were Madison High girls basketball coach Kirsten Stone and O’Connell girls head softball coach Suzy Willemssen.

“The mission is to get men and women coaches together so they can share their passions, tell stories, share things and help each other,” Gjormand said.

The most popular events in the absence of live sports have been sports-specific Zoom conferences, lasting some 90 minutes. In most, baseball and softball players and coaches have participated from various teams and leagues to discuss their squads and what type of seasons might have unfolded.

The Concorde, Liberty and National districts held such baseball meetings, with the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference doing the same in girls softball.

College virtual signing ceremonies have been held online by a number of local schools. During those YouTube events, seniors who have committed to play a sport in college are recognized by school administrations and their sport’s head coaches with brief information, and sometimes the athletes speak as well.

Langley High School had 23 such athletes for its virtual ceremony, Marshall had 20 and McLean 17.

Some schools have held athletic banquets virtually, announcing various awards. For example, Bishop O’Connell High recognized senior girls basketball player Ajia James as its Female Athlete of the Year.

Some senior night ceremonies have been held online in various degrees.

Most all local high-school athletic Twitter sites have been recognizing springtime senior athletes with some type of individual profiles, but with no live or taped virtual events so far.

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