Sports season finally underway

Liz O’Connell Staff Writer

			
				                                Girls on the Anson High School Volleyball Team adjust to COVID-19 restrictions as practices and games look a little different in this unusual year.
                                 Liz O’Connell | Anson Record

Girls on the Anson High School Volleyball Team adjust to COVID-19 restrictions as practices and games look a little different in this unusual year.

Liz O’Connell | Anson Record

<p>Girls on the Anson High School Volleyball Team adjust to COVID-19 restrictions as practices and games look a little different in this unusual year.</p>
                                 <p>Liz O’Connell | Anson Record</p>

Girls on the Anson High School Volleyball Team adjust to COVID-19 restrictions as practices and games look a little different in this unusual year.

Liz O’Connell | Anson Record

<p>Girls on the Anson High School Volleyball Team adjust to COVID-19 restrictions as practices and games look a little different in this unusual year.</p>
                                 <p>Liz O’Connell | Anson Record</p>

Girls on the Anson High School Volleyball Team adjust to COVID-19 restrictions as practices and games look a little different in this unusual year.

Liz O’Connell | Anson Record

WADESBORO — The sports drought lifts this week as Anson High School gears up for the start of cross country and volleyball.

After being an assistant coach for the past seven years, Patty Livingston takes over as the volleyball head coach in this unusual season.

Luckily, Livingston is familiar with the girls after working with them for the past few years.

“Everything has been different this year because of the pandemic,” Livingston said. “It is probably good that it wasn’t someone brand new to the whole thing. It has helped a lot to be familiar with what we have to do and the girls.”

The season kicked off on Nov. 17 against Montgomery Central after the team’s scrimmage got cancelled last week due to rain and flooding from the remnants of Tropical Storm Eta.

Because of the cancellation, Livingston was not able to gauge how the girls would look in a typical game setting.

Six seniors return, giving the team some veteran leadership.

“We have a large varsity team where we have 12 girls,” Livingston said. “We normally keep about anywhere from nine to 11. So again with this year being so different, we kept larger numbers on both of our teams.”

Livingston sees a lot of depth on both her varsity team and the junior varsity team this year and with the large amounts of talent on both teams, she is ready for an exciting few years. She sees numerous players who could be pivotal for the team’s success.

Last year’s team made it to the second round of the state playoffs with a 16-7 record, right in line with the top teams of the conference, according to Livingston.

“We lost only three players, so I feel like we have talent here and if we can play up to our potential, we should be really competitive in our conference this year,” Livingston said.

Livingston said she really wants the girls to challenge themselves this year. Instead of getting comfortable in playing only one position, she wants the girls to be versatile, which will allow them to counteract to the strengths of different teams.

One strength Livingston will be focusing on is the team’s height.

“We have a lot hitters and I think we’re a bigger team overall this year,” Livingston said. “I’m feeling like we can use that to our advantage.”

The cross country team also got underway this week with a preseason meet on Nov. 16 as two runners ran for the Bearcats.

“My goal is for my runners to improve each week and get better as the season progresses,” Coach and Athletic Director James Wall said.

Trenton Smith finished third in his group, running just shy of Wall’s 19 minute goal for the junior.

This season Wall hopes Smith can bring his 5K time down to 18 minutes and for Caleb Laney, Wall wants to improve his time to 24 or 25 minutes.

Because of COVID-19, teams were spread out into two different time slots to run during Monday’s meet. Most of the season will look like this as schools cautiously bring back sports in a coronavirus world.

Reach Liz O’Connell at eoconnell@ansonrecord.com.