BY: RACHEL MATHEW

The Bay’s boys’ varsity volleyball team officially held their tryouts for this upcoming season on Feb. 8. The season aims to start in early March and run until late April. Coach Breno Errty said practices have already started and are running at a high level. 

“These seniors have really been bringing the quality in our team up,” Ertty said. “Our relatively small group of 15 players also makes things easier.”

Tryouts were held over the course of two days testing the athletes on drills that were created to evaluate the skills of each player. After tryouts were held, the top 15 players were put on the roster for the upcoming season. 

“I tried to keep tryouts as close to normal as possible, and our only main difference was the masks,” Ertty said. 

Due to COVID-19, there were not as many athletes at the tryouts as there were pre-pandemic. Senior and Outside Hitter Anthony Bonkowski said students were still able to meet one another but had to keep their masks on and a social distance.

“There were not too many kids trying out but there was still a great turnout,” Bonkowski said. “In my opinion, tryouts went the best they could considering our current situation.”

The team had to take a few precautions as a result of the ongoing pandemic. Ertty said these precautions include playing and practicing with masks the entire time. Players are also required to get their own transportation to away games.

“It is a necessary thing in order to have our season and keep everyone safe so I don’t really mind,” Ertty said. 

Practices run similar to the way tryouts were coordinated. Athletes get more water breaks and are required to use hand sanitizer often. Freshman and Opposite Hitter David Fuentes said the level of play is much higher than what he is used to.

“I’ve found them to be a lot of fun because I’m challenged when I play,” Fuentes said. “I like the fast pace we play at and the energy Coach Breno brings to our team.”

Future games will run similarly compared to previous years. The only difference would be the requirement of all players to wear a mask at all times and keep a social distance. Ertty said in order to follow protocols and maintain social distance, there is a limited number of people allowed at each game. 

“Games are somewhat the same with the exception of a few new protocols due to COVID-19,” Bonkowski said. “I don’t really mind it though and it doesn’t bother me too much because we’re all just excited to continue playing volleyball.”

Ertty said the first game of this season is scheduled for Mar. 3 against Pembroke Pines Charter High School. The tournament will take place at the Pembroke Pines Charter home court.

“We have really high expectations this year,” Ertty said. “Especially because we have such a talented senior class, I think we’ll do just fine this season.”