Working around exams just a fact of life

After enjoying the holiday season, most of us have returned to the working world for the new year and are getting back into the swing of things.
But imagine for a moment that you had another week of holidays this coming week.
How much would that affect not only your own schedule, be it with your sleep cycle and getting back into the work swing of things yet again, but that of your fellow co-workers?
In the world of high school athletics, this kind of thing happens every year around this time as students return to the classrooms and their respective sports following the Christmas break, but end up having to take another break a couple of weeks later when dreaded exams roll around.
For those involved in the Muskie court sports and hockey programs, it means another lengthy gap between league games.
Personally speaking, if I was a head coach, I probably would be pulling my hair out over the fact that after getting everyone back into the groove either on the court and on the ice after Christmas, I have to go through the same thing once again with exams.
However, those involved with all squads have found ways to work around these issues.
Over Christmas, for instance, both Muskie hockey teams capitalized on their time off by participating in out-of-town tournaments, with the boys travelling to Duluth and Winnipeg while the girls made the trek to Minneapolis.
Now with another lengthy break in NorWOSSA play, the boys’ team will be testing their might against Minnesota high school teams over the next two weeks.
Having hosted the Baudette Bears in exhibition action last night, the Muskies then will travel to Kittson and Red Lake Falls on Jan. 27-28 before their next league game on Tuesday, Jan. 31 against the visiting St. Thomas Aquinas Saints (Kenora).
The Fort High girls, meanwhile, will take part in a tournament in Pembina from Jan. 26-28, then will have another border battle with International Falls at Bronco Arena on Jan. 31 as they tune up for their next league game Feb. 3 against the host Dryden Eagles.
And that’s not including all the practice time that both teams will have.
For the four Muskie court teams, however, their practice schedules run into a little bit more of an issue than their hockey-playing colleagues, with Fort High needing the gym for exams.
Nevertheless, the basketball and volleyball teams plan to work around that issue over the coming weeks. They will hold optional practices during exams, and will be hard at work this week prior to the studying period getting into full swing.
Plus, with all four squads playing in two league matches this past week, as well as taking part in tournaments in Kenora and Thunder Bay over the weekend, it’s safe to say all of the players already have rolled into game shape and won’t have any issue at all in getting into the zone once again.
Still, it has to be a pain for everyone involved. They probably were excited to be hitting the court or the ice once again over the last week and now having to deal with that waiting feeling once again.
However, the NorWOSSA league is a very unique one when it comes to the grand scheme of things. Unlike the schools in major centres, there is an awful lot of travel time to and from the different games during the year.
For someone like myself, who isn’t from here originally, this might seem like a foreign concept.
But for those that have grown up here and gone through it, or currently are experiencing it, this is just par for the course.

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