By Mike Gurnis
One of the top hockey programs in the Morris-Sussex area will not be starting the 2021 season as originally scheduled due to COVID-19 related concerns.
According to the school’s website, Morristown-Beard will begin a two-week distance learning period on Monday, which is expected to last for two weeks until Monday, Jan. 25 due to 11 positive tests in the school community. This creates uncertainty with the start of the boys and girls ice hockey teams respective seasons, which were scheduled to open their seasons within the next week.
It is unclear when the teams will open their respective seasons at this point. According to boys coach Scott Greene, the team has not been on the ice to practice yet, as the school returned virtually after the start of the new year to conduct testing and tracing of students. They were scheduled to host Seton Hall Prep on Monday, Jan. 18 at Mennen Arena for the team’s season opener, and also had games with Chatham and Morristown scheduled during that period- which are all now on hold.
Greene mentioned the possibility that students could return to the school on Monday, Jan. 18 which would likely coincide with the opening of on ice-practice. That would potentially leave open the possibility of its Jan. 22 game against Morristown being played, but it appears the most likely situation as of now would be it opens the season against Bergen Catholic on Jan. 25. That decision is expected to be made early this week, Greene said.
The girls team was slated to open on Friday, Jan. 15 against Randolph, and also had games with Westfield and Madison scheduled during this distance learning period.