As the spring sports season comes to an end, lacrosse, baseball, and tennis athletes will compete in the newly formed Inter-Ac postseason tournaments. The nine Inter-Ac Heads of School and Athletic Directors unanimously approved these events to be held between May 17-23.
“We did not want to commit our teams to PAISAA [Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association] tournaments,” said Athletic Director Mr. Michael Murphy. “So, we said, if we’re not going to participate in those, let’s have a format that if conditions improve with COVID, we can at least give our teams an extra type of competition that we would put on within our league only.”
While the tournaments are sure to bring intense competition, the winner of each tournament will not be the official Inter-Ac champion.
Mr. Murphy said, “We did not want any one person to feel the pressure of a championship, and to put that overtop of their health. We never want, for example, a lacrosse goalie to be in a situation where he’s in a championship and not feeling well, but doesn’t want to let his team down so he does not reveal his symptoms.”
As a result of the COVID precautions, the winner of the Inter-Ac tournament will simply be named the “Inter-Ac Tournament Champion.”
Amongst the athletes, there is a mixed attitude towards the newly formed tournaments.
“Personally, I would rather have the state tournament,” Fifth Form baseball starting pitcher Ryan Reed said. “ I think it brings more competition, and makes the strategy different because you are playing teams you may not have seen before. I feel like we still could have had the state tournament because we have played teams from other conferences already this year.”
“I think that an Inter-Ac tournament is a great addition for the competitive nature of a school like Haverford. It makes the season more exciting and interesting and allows all teams to start out fresh, regardless of their regular season record.”Damian Ferraro ’22
Amongst the Fords’ pitchers, a disapproval of the tournament seemed to be the consensus. Fifth Form starting pitcher Aidan Welsh said, “With the new tournament, I think lots of Inter-Ac teams didn’t really care that much about the Inter-Ac ‘regular season,’ and instead were just waiting for the tournament to begin.”
While some athletes were disappointed, others like Fifth Form tennis player Damian Ferraro were excited to have the opportunity to play some extra matches.
“I think that an Inter-Ac tournament is a great addition for the competitive nature of a school like Haverford,” Ferraro said. “It makes the season more exciting and interesting and allows all teams to start out fresh, regardless of their regular season record.”
Fifth Form lacrosse player Teddy Malone agrees.
“Although I would love to participate in a state championship with non league teams and exhibit our talent on a larger scale, an Inter-Ac postseason has so much history,” Malone said. “The Inter-Ac often has the best teams in the state so the competition is always great.”
While the Inter-Ac tournaments should add some extra competition to the end of the spring season, Mr. Murphy and the other athletic directors have begun to look towards next year as well.
“The one thing it has caused us to do is look at those sports that don’t have end-of-the-year opportunities, and say, is there something we can do that might make sense for that sport?” Mr. Murphy said.