2020-21 Athletics Updates
- Upper School Athletics
- Upper School Strength and Conditioning
- Seventh and Eighth Grade Athletics
- Middle School P.E.
- Previous Fall Athletic Updates
- Participation in Non-ESD Athletic Programs
Head of Athletics Dan Gill sent out the following update regarding the upper school spring sports season on Monday, February 1:
We are pleased to announce that our spring sports teams may begin practices today, February 1. Program directors will provide specific dates and times of their practices. Athletes currently playing for one of our winter sports programs will finish their season and join their spring sport after their last competition. Anyone participating in winter sports may not attend a spring sports practice, even if they occur at different times of the day. There will also be strength and conditioning sessions for off-season athletes available throughout the spring season. The dates and times of those sessions will be sent out to the students by our Director of Sports Performance.
We are still awaiting an announcement from the SPC on whether SPC Championships will be held in the spring and how counter schedules will be handled. Competition schedules for each sport are still being finalized as well. Questions about the season should be directed to each sport's program director.
Update as of January 7: The SPC Board of Directors have approved the plan for the winter season, including zone championships in lieu of the normally scheduled SPC Championship Tournament. Click here for the full SPC announcement.
Head of Athletics Dan Gill sent out the following update regarding the upper school winter sports season on Monday, December 7:
We are pleased to announce that our winter sports teams may begin practices on Friday, December 18 after the conclusion of final exams. Voluntary sport-specific practices will take place on dates throughout the winter break, with the exception of December 24, 25, 31 and January 1 when campus will be closed. Program directors will provide the specific dates and times of these practices. There will also be strength and conditioning sessions for off-season athletes available throughout the break. The dates and times of those sessions will be sent out to the students by Phil Mosley, Director of Sports Performance, shortly.
On Friday, the SPC announced that the winter counter schedule for basketball and soccer will proceed as scheduled, however, there will not be an SPC Tournament at the conclusion of the season. Competition for those sports will begin after our return from winter break. Those schedules are still being finalized due to facility and transportation constraints, so any schedules currently posted are subject to change. Questions about the season should be directed to each sport's program director.
Head of Athletics Dan Gill sent out the following announcement regarding the upper school winter sports season on Thursday, October 30:
Sport-specific instruction and tryouts for soccer and basketball will begin on November 16 and competitions for these sports can begin during Thanksgiving break. More specific information regarding wrestling practices will be forthcoming. For information on winter sports strength and conditioning, please visit that drop-down tab below.
Please reach out to your respective program directors, whose contact information can be found on the right, for more.
Head of Athletics Dan Gill sent out the following update regarding upper school strength and conditioning on Monday, December 7:
There will be strength and conditioning sessions offered for off-season athletes available throughout the winter break. The dates and times of those sessions will be sent out to the students by Phil Mosley, Director of Sports Performance.
PAST STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING UPDATES (WINTER)
Building on the success of the fall sports sessions, voluntary strength and conditioning sessions for winter sport athletes will start Monday, November 2. There will be one session offered Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 4:15-5:15 p.m. Students can sign up for sessions by clicking here. In the case of inclement weather, sessions will be canceled.
- Sessions will take place on the ESD Baseball Field.
- Athletes will need to wear a mask to the training session. Masks will not be required during physical activity.
- Athletes should bring their own reusable water bottle.
- Participants must print, fill out, and sign the COVID-19 Release Form linked here, and bring it to the first session. If this release form is not signed, the student will not be allowed to participate. Please note, this form only needs to be filled out once prior to the first session.
PAST STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING UPDATES (FALL)
Our voluntary strength and conditioning workouts continue, however starting on Monday, September 14, we will transition to sport-specific groupings. Workouts will continue to run from 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Teams will meet at the following locations:
- Jones Family Stadium: Football
- Founders' Field: Volleyball and Field Hockey
- Baseball Field: Cross Country, Crew, and Cheer
Students should continue to sign up for sessions using our sign up genius link, as sessions will be capped based on spaces available on each field. In the case of inclement weather, sessions will be canceled.
All other protocols and processes remain in place. Please click here to review and remember, all students must have an up-to-date physical on file with the school and all first-time participants must turn in these forms: COVID-19 Release and Student Requirements Form.
Update as of January 29:
As we conclude our condensed winter season, spring middle school sports for grades 7 and 8 will begin on Monday, February 8 and finish on Friday, May 14.
We will not play outside competition, competing only in-house. Your students will be coached by the traditional middle school coaches with a background in that sport. The coaches will teach fundamentals and techniques of each sport in a progressive sequence, which will be a foundation preparing them for high school athletics. While we will not be playing games, our coaches will hold intra-squad scrimmages to get them game experience.
If you have reservations about your child playing a team sport, they can be placed into our ESD Fit program. This will be a socially-distant strength and conditioning program.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Where and how do athletes change each day?
- Students will continue as they have done for PE. They will have access to change in the bathrooms if needed.
- What should students do with equipment during the day?
- We will have designated spaces for each team.
- How will teams be selected?
- Teams will be divided by grade level for contact tracing purposes.
- Will athletes have to wear masks during practice?
- Yes, all athletes and coaches should have masks on at all times, as is the current policy for PE.
- What happens if a middle school athlete tests positive for COVID?
- The health and safety committee will be notified, and they will begin contact tracing. The training staff will communicate the next steps in the process to those involved.
Update as of December 17: Seventh and eighth grade athletics will start upon our return from winter break. A condensed winter season will run from January 5 - February 5.
- Teams will take part in practices and intersquad games only. There will be no games with outside schools during the winter season.
- Team practices and intersquad games will take place from 2:45-3:45 p.m. every day, excluding Days 4 and 6.
- Students will be picked up at 4:00 p.m. on the Merrell side of campus after MS Athletics (every day excluding Days 4 and 6).
In addition to team sports, a general PE option will still be offered during this time and will most likely be more socially distant than the team sport options.
More information to come.
October 30: Our middle school students will continue with the current PE model until the Christmas break, with hopes of beginning middle school sport-specific instruction after we return to campus in January.
The current schedule allows all middle school students to have a 30-minute organized physical activity each day, however, it is not conducive to having middle school athletics, as students are kept in their same small groups for all of their classes and PE periods are currently held in the middle of the school day. Middle school administrators are currently in the process of developing a schedule that would allow for middle school athletics at the end of the day, as was the case previously. Please contact Middle School Athletic Coordinator Jay Sothoron with any questions.
UPPER SCHOOL ATHLETICS
On August 21, the Southwestern Preparatory Conference (SPC) canceled the fall athletic season. Disappointing news to all of us, ESD and several SPC schools are working together in hopes of scheduling games. Although much will depend on the health conditions in and around Dallas, we are optimistic that our fall teams will have the opportunity to compete in the coming weeks and months.
Update as of October 2: Fall athletic competition schedules have been decided upon and released to upper school families. Varsity and JV team members of fall sports may now visit their Team Page for schedules and more information.
Update as of September 12: This week, athletic administrators from our North Zone SPC peer schools have agreed upon dates which, should health conditions continue to improve, give our athletes an opportunity for competition. The schedule allows for a phased-in return to practice and competition that will only occur if our community maintains health protocols and a low infection rate. Your cooperation with our processes is mandatory if we wish to be part of this effort.
Here is the timeline:
- Week of September 14: Continued Strength and Conditioning grouped by teams (click here for details)
- Week of September 21: Small group skill instruction by sport
- Week of September 28: Small group skill instruction continues (with the introduction of helmets in football)
- Week of October 5: Full team practices
- Week of October 12: Competitions begin
We are entering this process cautiously. Our ability to follow this phased-in return relies on good decision making. We draw your attention particularly to the daily decisions we make about going to work or school. By erring on the side of staying home when we are feeling any COVID-19 symptom, each of us will be safeguarding our community's overall health and increasing the chances of our return to the extra-curricular activities we all enjoy either as participants or fans.
Thank you for your patience as we navigate these challenging circumstances.
MIDDLE SCHOOL P.E. AND ATHLETICS
When we return to campus, the COVID-adjusted schedule allows all middle school students to have a 30-minute organized physical activity each day. Since locker rooms or gym lockers will be unavailable for use during this time, middle school has adjusted its uniform policy. Please check the Middle School Getting Ready page for details.
School-sponsored sports begin at ESD in seventh grade. Due to the pandemic, middle school athletics at ESD, and at the majority of our peer schools, are postponed until further notice. Our hope is athletics will be able to begin should health conditions improve and opportunities to compete with our peer schools become available. Additional questions regarding seventh and eighth-grade sports should be directed towards each sport's program director.
Our strong recommendation is that students do not participate in outside (non-ESD sanctioned) athletic programs at this time. However, this is a family choice and it is not within the school’s purview to dictate these decisions for ESD families. Please know that the more our community limits or eliminates activities outside of our school community, the better chance we have of achieving our shared goal of keeping students on campus.
Athletic Training: Crystal Carrizales
Baseball: Albert Najera
Crew: Adam Jones
Golf: David Tollison
Boys Lacrosse: Jay Sothoron
Girls Lacrosse: Maggie Koch
Middle School Athletics Coordinator: Jay Sothoron
Physical Education: Mike Schneider
Softball: Mike Schneider
Sports Performance: Phil Mosley
Boys Tennis: Jason Marshall
Girls Tennis: Julie Schiller
Track: Evan Hadrick
All Program Directors can be found on our Meet the Coaches page.