ZOOMing Our Way to a Successful Afternoon Program

By Lucy Del Col, Layout Editor, May 2020

It started with fall pre-season being cancelled. At that point, there was still hope of going back. Students continued to train and prepare for May 4th; it was marked on calendars and dreamed about as the day that students would return to school and their afternoon programs. Then, Governor Charlie Baker announced the reality that we all expected but no one wanted to hear: May 4th was no longer an option. Nobles had to prepare for online seasons.

A season where we could not be with others was completely unheard of until this year. Thankfully, we have technology that allows us to be creative. Nobles has put into place bi-weekly Zoom meetings for afternoon programs, and many teams have taken the opportunity to make time on their own.

Girls Varsity Lacrosse coach Brooke Asnis knew that with Zoom, she could keep her team “sharp and game ready” as well as tether them to a strong support system. The team meets twice a week in addition to a weekly meeting for the returning members of the 2019 spring team. These meetings have consisted of everything from virtual workouts to learning life skills. Asnis and the other coaches agreed that “variety was important” to keep kids coming back. This method has paid off for the lacrosse team, seeing as at most of their meetings, they have had around 40 students from all levels of play.

Since the Zooms are open to all grades, younger students can learn more about teams or organizations that they could join in the future. Many teams have also invited college athletes to their Zooms. This interaction is something that would probably not happen in a normal season, but is really beneficial to hear more about collegiate sports. Boys Varsity Tennis coach Gennady Burakovsky also coaches at Boston College, and has brought some of his athletes to speak to the tennis team. Captain Rahul Singh (Class I) believes that the speakers help the team “learn more about what the tennis experience is like for those who want to play in college or are just interested in improving their play.” 

Leaders of spring teams and organizations have had a chance to step up and be creative with activities this season. Softball Captains Katie Armstrong, Angela Giordano, and Addy Sewack (all Class I) reach out to the returners throughout the week to stay in touch. They hold other Zooms in addition to the scheduled ones just to chat about everyone’s weeks.

The Girls Crew Team meets twice a week for a team workout led by captains. Captain Paloma Ducrest (Class I) said that once, “We came up with the idea to send [hand-written] letters because we knew that everyone was missing school, their friends, and the team, so we wanted to bring a smile to their faces.” She and the other captains believe that this has helped to remind the team that although they are not physically together, they are always loved and supported by one other.

The students who were hoping to put on John Proctor Is The Villain this spring are still committed to trying to show an end result of their work at some point. The cast spent the first few weeks of virtual rehearsals working on dramaturgy, which involves studying the time period of the show to help the actors get a better idea of what they will be representing in their performance. They continue to study the script even though the original show date is not an option.

“The consensus of the group is to get some sort of performance out of it,” Xavier Welch (Class II) explained. They hope for a live table read when we return to school or at the end of summer. While no one knows exactly when it will be, the cast will continue to prepare with that performance in mind. However, one challenge is that the two seniors currently in the production will have graduated by the time there is an opportunity to put on the show. Faculty advisors have yet to determine a solution to this potential casting issue.

Each afternoon program remains dedicated to their members feeling supported by student leaders and faculty advisors, and will continue to explore new and exciting ways to keep this season alive, even through a screen.

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