TRUMBULL - First the Lady Eagles, and then Eagles, took Sebe Gangemi Memorial soccer field for the first official day of fall sport practices on Monday.

“It’s good for the girls to get back, get in their groups, and have some kind of normalcy, if you like,” girls soccer coach Rich Sutherland said after practice. “Now they can start to prepare for games.”

Trumbull will start play Oct. 1 when it visits St. Joseph.

Boys coach Sil Vitiello was happy to go from one-hour conditioning practices to playing full-fledged soccer.

“It’s exciting, it’s great to get backout there,” Vitiello said. “Whatever the circumstance, it is still our game that we love to play. and we love to coach. With over 100 players the last few weeks, we had to have two sessions to keep everyone in cohorts of 10 players or less. We’ve been able to see some of the skills from a fundamental standpoint, but there is only so much you can see there. It’s really what they do under pressure in a game-like conditions.”

All players go through an online health screen set up by the school. The players must file that report every day.

“They have to show me that report every day, and then we take their temperature before practice every day,” Vitiello said. “That will be the same throughout the season.”

Sutherland is also well-schooled in health metrics.

“From the AD (Mike King) and all the staff, we’ve put a lot of thought into making it safe for everyone,” he said. “We as coaches oversee things to make sure of social distancing. Sometimes it just happens. They go for a drink and begin to talk and naturally move together and we must remind them. They wear masks coming and going (to the field) and when on the sidelines.”

All water bottles for players on the girls team were numbered for the individual player. Individuals brought their own ball, which was cleaned before and after by that player. Now with the team component in place, the bag of balls going forward will be cleaned after each session by the coaches.

There are no whistles on the field.

“I naturally call and shout,” Sutherland said. “With the mask it does muffle it a little bit, but I’m sure the girls will say they can always here me.”

Looking forward

We are in a (schedule) group of St. Joe’s, Warde, Ludlowe and Central,” Sutherland said of the planned 10-game slate. “We are just happy that we are able to play.”

Vitiello said: “This year we get 10 games. The post-season is up in the air. We have St. Joe’s, Warde, Ludlowe, Prep is joining the FCIAC (from the SCC) for a year, which will be interesting. We also have Bridgeport Central, and two former FCIAC schools in Bassick High and Harding.

“At first, the players were a little bummed out not to have a full season,” he said. “Once the regions were established, and we have good teams in our region including the team we played in the championship last year, it didn’t take them long to buy back in. We are going to prepare like any other year and see if we can be successful.”

Vitiello added, “The FCIAC has put together 3 regions. No matter how you slice the FCIAC, 3 regions 4 regions or 8 regions, it is going to be competitive.”

Trumbull plays St. Joseph back-to-back on Oct. 2 and Oct. 5. Twitter: @blox354