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At HVRHS, fewer COVID restrictions and a new team

FALLS VILLAGE — In a season with the least restrictions in the past two years, the Housatonic Valley Regional High School (HVRHS) fall sports season is coming to an end with four teams making a postseason push, multiple All-Star selections and a reformatted football team finding a new home.

While spectators at indoors sporting events will still need masks, restrictions on all outdoor sports were loosened for the fall season. There will be no mask or capacity restrictions for those watching outdoor athletics.

“We are fully open,” said Housatonic Athletic Director Anne MacNeil. “Obviously we ask that people socially distance themselves and be respectful, but other than the mask, we were pretty much normal.”

The Mountaineers had six sports active this season, including the newly formed football team.

After being canceled the year before, the Mountaineers started their season by joining a new co-op of The Gilbert School and Northwestern Regional High School, both of which are located in Winsted.

Housatonic has been part of a co-op team with Wamogo Regional High School for over a decade, and in recent years has joined Oliver Wolcott Technical High School as well. This year, however, the collapse of Sacred Heart High School in Waterbury, Conn., forced a reshuffling of several teams: Oliver Wolcott Tech joined a co-op with Nonnewaug High School and Housatonic joined the two Winsted schools.

“They welcomed us with open arms,” MacNeil said. “At the end of the day, our kids are playing football; none of it really mattered as long as we were playing.”

Playing through a season marred with postponements, cancellations and COVID-19 cases, the Housatonic-Northwestern-Gilbert team has amassed a 5-and-2 record, with its last regular season game slated for Thanksgiving against the Granby-Canton co-op.

“Especially with the additions of the Housy kids, it was kind of a seamless transition,” said Head Coach Scott Salius. “We didn’t have a whole lot of activity. Last year, we continued to practice without any games, and our offseason was limited. So when the Housy kids came on board, they came on board with a whole new team.”

The girls soccer team wrapped the regular season up on Tuesday, Nov. 2, beating Nonnewaug, 5-to-2. Ranked No. 8 in the state, the Mountaineers beat No. 25 Wheeler High School 3-to-1 before being upset by the No. 24 ranked Northwest Catholic High School on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 4-to-1.

On the other side of the pitch, the boys soccer team, with former junior varsity coach Bill Gold at the helm, finished their 2-and-14 season on the same day as the girls, with a 9-to-0 shutout loss  to Nonnewaug.

Eight athletes were selected as Berkshire League All-Stars, including four from the girls soccer team.

Seniors Tori Dodge and Sydney Segalla, who has committed to playing at Boston College next year, earned First Team All-Soccer accolades along with junior Melody Matsudaira. Fellow junior Lindsey Drislane was selected for Second Team All-Soccer.

For the golf team, senior Collin McAuliffe had a stand-out year, finishing first in both the Berkshire League Tournament and the DII State Championship, qualifying for the New England High School Golf Championships, where he finished ninth overall. McAuliffe, who was selected as an All-Star along with fellow senior William Sarr, will also be playing in the 2022 National Golf Championship, which will be played in July.

The volleyball and cross-country teams ended their regular season with a chance for postseason play. Finishing with an 8-and-9 record that earned them a spot in the state tournament as the No. 21 seed, the volleyball team was eliminated in the first round by Griswold High School, 3-to-0.

As for cross-country, both the boys and girls teams ran in the Fall Championships on Monday, Nov. 1, finishing 15th and 13th, respectively. Freshman Kyle McCarron, for the boys, and Harper Howe, for the girls, were selected as Berkshire League All-Stars.

While the fall seasons are all but finished, the winter sports seasons are just around the corner. On Monday, Dec. 6, just over a week from the last football game, both the boys and girls basketball teams will start their seasons.

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