A football player standing in an empty stadium.

Summer’s coming to an end, time for Fall High School Sports – John Cardullo

by John Cardullo, sportswriter

For the first time in what seems to be an eternity, the Rhode Island high school sports scene is back to normal. The eight high school sports that comprise the “Fall” season are: Boys and Girls Cross Country, Field Hockey, Football, Boys and Girls Soccer, Girls Volleyball, Unified Volleyball, and the newest member of the varsity sports club, Esports. All are back in action with no delays, no restrictions and no abbreviated schedules. The season has all green lights across the board and all systems are a go!

Back in 2021 the landscape wasn’t so optimistic; the pandemic had the world in its grip. Vaccines had just started to combat Covid, and high school sports teetered on the brink of not even being played. The first sport that was able to take the field was Boys and Girls Cross Country, mostly because of the separation of athletes and that was the reason it was deemed safe. Other sports followed and some sports such as football were relocated to the early spring of that school year. Proceeding cautiously and making the student athletes’ safety the top priority was the direction that the Rhode Island Interscholastic League took. It wasn’t the most popular decision with the athletes and the family and friends of those athletes, but with all the uncertainly of the time, it was the correct decision.

Spring ahead to the pre-fall of 2022, vaccines and safety precautions are in place. So it is with confidence that the seasonal sports can move forward and proceed as they traditionally have. So, buckle up and hold on tight, because the high school landscape is about to take off. The 2022 fall full slate of sports and schedules are underway and should be very exciting for the players, coaches, and fans alike.

On September 6th, Field Hockey starts and will go full steam until the State champion is crowned on October 22nd.

Girls Soccer kicks off their season on September 6th and will roll until October 27th.

Unified Volleyball which has become a very popular spectator sport with special needs athletes partnering up with nonspecial needs athletes as they compete for a state title taps off on September 14th, concluding on October 27th. This sport has become one of the RIIL’s fastest growing sports both in players and teams participating. Along with Esports which offers a different competition for those non-physical athletes to compete in a totally different arena.

One of the fall sports mainstays, Girls Volleyball, will revive on September 6th and end on October 28th, before the play offs begin and spike home their state championship soon after.

Boys Soccer will also start on September 6th with the regular season ending on October 29th before the championship run starts.

Girls Tennis runs the same schedule as the boys’ soccer season, with a show down coming at the beginning of November.

Leaving the biggest spectator sport of the fall taking the spotlight from September 1st with the Injury Fund game through to the traditional Thanksgiving Day game match ups. This is where league class and records and rankings are thrown out the window and bragging rights are the priority for all the teams – on Thanksgiving Day. In most cases the state playoffs have already begun and wraps up by the beginning of December, but in every case the Thanksgiving Day game is where each team will not give an inch to the other, no matter what else is on the line.

It is great to have the full high school sports schedule back in full force. To go and watch athletes play a sport for the full competitive joy is something that we had missed when it was taken, or almost taken, away from us. It was when we all were faced with that prospect, we all realized how important these sports were to us all. To the players, the coaches, the parents, and fans, and for school spirit and yes for us spectators and reporters. Coming dangerously close to losing school sports made us realize how important they are, and they should not be taken for granted. Let’s have a great Fall – and be safe.



John Cardullo, Sportswriter

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