New year of ‘study & reflection’ gets underway at CHS

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The Canton High School fall sports season gets underway this week and next with football practice kicking off August 18, followed by tryouts and practices for most other teams next Tuesday, August 24.

All of the CHS fall varsity coaches are returning this season. In fact, CHS Athletic Director Danny Erickson said at this point he only has one varsity head coaching vacancy (girls lacrosse) for the entire 2017-18 athletic year.

Senior Tony Harris

Senior Tony Harris

Overall, the theme of the upcoming sports year is enriching the athletic experience at CHS for all athletes.

“It will be a year of study and reflection,” said Erickson.

In late May, Erickson reported to the School Committee on a task force that was established to improve the CHS Athletics Department. The task force held meetings last year to begin to analyze the department’s strengths and weaknesses and the overall student-athlete experience. In April, a group of 25 stakeholders (coaches, teachers, administrators, parents, students, and alumni) met for several hours to discuss the CHS Athletics program.

Erickson said the task force has been divided into four subcommittees and they will meet over the coming school year to come up with recommendations on the following focus areas: improving the consistency of the coaching experience from season to season and program to program; promoting equity in all programs; improving athletic facilities and the spectator experience; and improving the strength and conditioning of all student-athletes.

Erickson said he will be involved in each of the groups and will set benchmarks but will not lead any of the subcommittees. The subcommittees will meet throughout the year with the goal of coming up with a report for the School Committee by the spring of 2018.

Besides the work of the task force, Erickson and CHS Principal Derek Folan will be busy organizing all events and meetings of the Hockomock League this year. The role of host is rotated among the league’s 12 schools on an annual basis, and this year is Canton’s turn. The schedule of events includes monthly meetings for athletic directors and principals as well as award events and programs for captains. The Hockomock League currently serves more than 12,000 athletes and Canton alone fields 45 teams, including 27 varsity teams.

In addition to hosting league meetings, the CHS Athletics Department will also host a mandatory program for all student-athletes and parents on Tuesday evening, September 12, at 7 p.m. The subject of the evening will be how student-athletes can do their part to improve the culture at CHS. The guest speaker is Aaron Polansky, school superintendent-director of Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical School.

In other sports news, Erickson is quite pleased with the recently completed renovations to the CHS turf and track and is looking forward to the installation of the new scoreboard at Gibson baseball field. Erickson said there may also be some improvements to the baseball and softball field with the installation of outfield warning tracks.

Fall Registration & Practice Info

The registration deadline for fall sports is Monday, August 21, at 11 a.m. The football registration deadline was August 16. Visit the CHS Athletics website for online registration information. A user fee of $195 per athlete is due by September 12. Payment may be made online with a credit card for a fee or by check.

In addition, a copy of an updated physical (within the last 13 months) must be delivered to the CHS Athletics Office, and athletes and parents must view one of two concussion-related videos available on the CHS Athletics website.

Football: Media day Aug. 17 at 4 p.m. at CHS turf field; Practice begins Aug. 18 at 5:45 on the turf (helmets only). Other key dates: Aug. 26 scrimmage at Dighton Rehoboth, 10 a.m.; Sept. 1 scrimmage vs. Norwood, 6 p.m.; Sept. 8 Billy Cravens Night, first home game vs. Pentucket, 7 p.m.

Golf: Mandatory meeting Aug. 23 at 2 p.m. at GMS to discuss the tryout process/schedule. Times and locations for tryouts on Aug. 24 will be distributed at this meeting.

Cheerleading: First practice Aug. 23 from 4-6 p.m. in the Rodman gym with a parent/athlete meeting to follow at 6.

Field Hockey: Tryouts on the turf field Aug. 24 from 12-2 p.m. and 5:15-7:15 p.m. and Aug. 25 from 8:30-10:30 a.m. and 4:30 to 6 p.m. Sticks, goggles, shin guards and mouth guards are mandatory for every practice. Please bring your own water bottle!

Boys Soccer: First session is Aug. 24 at 8 a.m. for a fitness test at the CHS turf-track, including 2-mile run. No cleats needed for this session. Goalkeepers will not be running the 2-mile but will train in goal at the conclusion of the fitness test. First field session 4-6 p.m. at CHS Gibson Field (goalkeepers start at 3 p.m.).

Girls Soccer: All interested participants should report to CHS Gibson Field Aug. 24 at 8 a.m. for a fitness test. On-field session the same day at 3 p.m. on the CHS turf.

Volleyball: All students are welcome to try out; no experience necessary. Three teams are formed: varsity, JV and freshman. Tryouts are Aug. 24 from 5-9 p.m., Aug. 25 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Aug. 27 from 5-9 p.m. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to start time. Bring plenty of water and some snacks for break time.

Girls & Boys Cross Country: Aug. 24 at 8 a.m. at the CHS Field House at the track. Bring water, good pair of running shoes, and athletic wear.

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