MHS Soccer

Maryville boys soccer junior Spencer Willnerd protects the ball against Benton in the Spoofhounds' game Oct. 6 at Bearcat Pitch.

Maryville boys soccer has had a lot of ups and downs this year due to COVID-19.

Maryville has struggled to play games this season year because of the pandemic, which has effectively canceled 12 games for the Spoofhounds.

The problem continued for the Spoofhounds this week, with yet another positive COVID-19 test, the games leading up to Oct. 26 have been cancelled. This will be a rough go of things with districts coming up on Oct. 31.

Even though the ’Hounds have quite a few days off before districts, not everyone is certain that this is a good thing for the team. Maryville coach Chase Tolson had his doubts about how this could help the team.

“Yes, it is a relief, and no it isn’t at the same time, but there were a lot of games really close together and we wanted to avoid injuries,” Tolson said. “It sucks at the same time ’cause we missed a lot of the first half of the season due to COVID, and it's going to hurt a little bit, but less injuries. It is going to make the district seeding very tricky.”

However, the time away may be a blessing in disguise for the soccer team. Tolson is staying positive and sees the extra time off as an advantage against the Spoofhounds’ future opponent as they will be rested and fully healthy by the time the district tournament comes around.

“We are hoping the guys stay in shape and work on their ball skills at home,” Tolson said. “We would’ve loved to be able to play and build chemistry during game time, but the extra time off could be beneficial to us.”

When the Spoofhounds get out of quarantine this week, they will be back to practicing and focusing on the task at hand with districts. The coaches have kept the players busy during quarantine with workouts to do in their free time.

“We provided them with workouts they can do at home, that way when they get out of quarantine, we can pick up right where we left off,” Tolson said. “We are hoping that as soon as they get out of quarantine, we can try to do as much as we can before our first district game next Saturday.”

When the athletes come back, they are going to take even further safety measures to ensure that nothing will hurt the chances at competing during districts. The Spoofhounds are doing what they can so they do not have to quarantine while the district tournament is going on.

“Other than the quarantine, we are going to be wearing a mask every practice, and we will do check-ins at the beginning of practice,” Tolson said. “Before every practice, we will check the temperatures of the players. We are also only allowing one to a seat on bus rides and making sure they are wearing masks on the bus.”

The soccer team, much like the rest of Maryville sports, had to battle with COVID-19 throughout the season. As their season heads towards the end, the Spoofhounds are still moving forward with hopes of competing in any way they can.

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