A behind-the-scenes look at the 2022 spring sports season


When thinking about school sports at any level, most think about the games, practices, and equipment. But that is just elements that affect the athlete. What one might not think about is the extensive planning of the season behind the scenes. 

Spring season here at FHC means a lot of things: musical, spring break, and graduation. For most students, though, spring means sports.

Ironically, the spring season is the busiest time of the year for the faculty and coaches alike, along with the student-athletes who have been preparing all summer, fall, and winter for their favorite season to come. At the high-school level, there are ten spring sports for athletes to participate in, along with at least two levels of play for all but lacrosse this year. This means there are plenty of teams to pay attention to come April.

Most of the time, athletes don’t think much about how their practices are planned, who determines home versus away games, or even how team pictures are scheduled. What many people don’t know is that the FHC Athletic Office works long hours each day to get ready for the season and make sure that it’s a smooth ride.

The main members include Athletic Secretary Kristi Swayze, who schedules and plans all sports along with getting all rosters and events out to the student body. Also, Brian Chadderdon works up to eight hours a day setting up nets and benches for sporting events. For other staff, like FHC’s Head Athletic Trainer CJ Strawser–who works with injured athletes to get them back onto the field as soon as possible–spring season means an even busier office and more running around to keep up. 

Kristi Swayze is the mastermind behind most of the Final Forms communication: schedule distribution, setting up rosters, getting uniforms, and the preparation side. 

“Spring season is definitely the busiest season,” Mrs. Swayze said. “The other seasons have much more planning time and are a little easier to manage than the springtime. When spring sports start, some winter sports are still going, and there is less time to prepare and get things set up compared to fall when we have a few weeks before school and the season starts, which makes it less stressful to iron out the problems. For me, it is really chaotic the first few weeks.”

With schedules and rosters still not finalized for all spring sports, it is clear that it is not just the athletes stressed out about the uncertain details of their season that are starting to heat up. FHC’s spring teams, such as the track team that has over 100 kids participating at the different levels, still don’t have a set roster due to kids dropping out or joining late for any number of reasons.

“The first few weeks of the season are always a little crazy going through all the athletes signed up and seeing who is academically able to participate, along with who has their physicals in, and making sure everyone is accounted for and getting the information [the coaches] need about practices and games,” Mrs. Swayze said. 

Another factor of the spring season is setting up the nets and equipment needed outside. Brian Chadderdon, who is best known for his work helping out on and off the field setting up for events, spends a lot of time getting everything ready for outdoor play in the limited amount of time between winter and spring. Before he had a crew to help, though, he would be scrambling to it all himself.

“I set up all the nets and equipment needed for all the seasons here,” Mr. Chadderdon said. “Before I had a crew, I would spend upwards of eight hours a day setting up sports equipment outside and making sure everything was ready for the teams to be successful. Everything from the tennis nets to lacrosse goals is set up over the span of a few days, doing a little bit each day to make sure everything is ready and usable before tryouts start.” 

With tryouts ending for sports, a lot of athletes are running into injuries and roadblocks that are preventing their success early on in the season. When these problems come up, the solution is pretty clear: go see CJ–the Head Athletic Trainer.

“Tryouts are always super busy for me,” CJ said. “Athletes have problems that were fixed popping up again and new ones sprouting from sprained ankles to shin splints. I have to golf-cart around from the baseball diamonds down to lacrosse and be everywhere at once on the days where multiple teams are competing on the same day or same time. With a lot of teams to keep track of, it is always a challenge keeping up with them more than the other seasons, but spring definitely has problems of its own.”

Spring sports heating up means everyone in the athletic world here at FHC is getting ready for their respective seasons and getting into the swing of things. After spring break, they will pick up where they left off.

Although many people don’t think about much beyond their schedules and equipment, it is an understatement to say that the athletic staff has the toughest job of keeping the seasons up and running and supporting the athletes more than other times of the year. 

“It is hard to get things going early in the season with spring break and weather, but in the end, it all pays off,” Mrs. Swayze said. “As soon athletes figure out their plan, it is smooth sailing from there.”