For a brief moment, everything in the world felt normal.
A whistle blew and games were played. Runners were given the command to “go” and away they went, taking off in a three-mile-long cross country race.
On Thursday afternoon, the Greens Farms Academy athletics program played host to four varsity sports contests on its Westport campus.
Boys and girls soccer, volleyball, and cross country returned the Dragons to action, more than six months after the COVID-19 pandemic brought sports to a halt back in March.
Sure, things were different. Temperature checks were part of the pre-game routine, for both players and fans alike. Masks were worn from the sidelines to fields to the trails. Physically-distant celebrations were had all over campus. And, yes, the volleyball team won a thrilling five-set match on its make-shift outdoor court instead of its beloved Coyle Gymnasium.
Life was normal for those who proudly wear Dragon gear across their chest. Games were played and the look on the faces of all the athletes, even behind their masks, was nothing but joy. Pure joy.
Sports were back. And what a day it was for the Dragons.
In addition to volleyball’s 25-22, 22-25, 25-22, 22-25, 15-9 win, the boy's soccer team (6-0) and girls soccer team (2-1) both proved victorious, as well.
In cross country, Larson Palmgren’s victory showcased GFA’s perfect score of 15 (five runners in the first five scoring spots) and Caroline McCall’s win in the girl's race led a charge of four top finishes for her team.
On the boy's soccer pitch, six seniors netted goals, led by two from Charles Kolin, as the Dragons rolled to a win.
Two of GFA’s most prolific talents a year ago — volleyball player Meg Nesi and soccer standout Elyse Kimball — have both graduated, leaving behind some pretty big question marks as to who will step up this fall.
On the volleyball court, Allie Farber’s 22 assists went a long way in Coach Paul Groves trying to figure out how to replace a five-year starting setter in Nesi.
And on the soccer field, Annika White and Lauren Lior each showed that a multiple team can join forces and make up for what was lost.
Last spring, much of the country lost the world of sports. Its return to GFA’s campus with four resounding victories that will echo through the school’s growing sports history and culture.
The GFA Dragons proved victorious not just on the scoreboard, but by getting back on the field.