Woodbury Athletic Director Dan Howey Excited About the Start of the Scholastic Season

by Marc Narducci | Sep 15, 2020
Woodbury Athletic Director Dan Howey Excited About the Start of the Scholastic Season
Dan Howey has plenty on his plate, but the Woodbury athletic director isn’t complaining. In addition to getting ready for a high school sports season like no other, he is also looking to hire a new boys’ basketball coach to replace Joe Albano, who resigned. (Anybody interesting in applying should contact the school by Sept. 18: dhowey@woodburysch.com). 
 
With a schedule even more hectic than normal, Howey isn’t complaining. 
 
“I am more than happy to be here doing this,” he said. “The kids need something to look forward to.”
 
So do the administrators and coaches. 
 
All athletic directors, regardless of the season, have to have an ability to adjust. The weather often forces scheduled to be redone.
 
In the case of COVID-19, the entire schedule had to be redone for several seasons. Howey said that he had most of his spring schedules for this season finished before the pandemic hit in March.
 
“My boys’ and girls’ basketball schedule (for 2020-2021) was full and I was trying to find somebody to play in baseball and softball,” he said. 
 
Then of course, everything went on hold. All the schedules had to be modified, starting with this fall.
 
Normally, the fall season would have started in the first week of September, but due to the pandemic, schools ended summer workouts on Aug. 28. Fall practice was scheduled to open Sept. 14 with most sports opening Oct. 1 and football on Oct. 2. 
 
That meant new schedules for all the sports. Many non-conference games have been scrapped. In football, what had been a nine-game regular season, has been reduced to six games. The West Jersey Football League, of which every team in South Jersey is a member, had to draw up entirely new schedules. 
 
Woodbury is a small Group 1 sized school, so depth is always important for all sports, especially football. Howey says that Woodbury has gotten good numbers for youngsters coming out for football.
 
Woodbury has a long football tradition and this year the Thundering Herd will open Oct. 2 at home against rival Paulsboro. That will be a 2 p.m. game.
 
For Howey, he is making checking and re-checking all his schedules. So are all of his fellow AD’s. 
 
“For instance, I have to double check and see if my cross-country schedule is right because I have changed it six times,” he said.
 
He would change it seven or eight times, if it gives the youngsters a chance to compete. 
 
To make this work, there will be a lot of responsibility not only on the administrators and coaches, but also the students. 
 
They have to be responsible about social distancing and all have to work together to make this work. 
 
It will take a collective effort, but he payback is immense. It’s always a great experience for a youngster to experience the competition of high school athletics. 
 
“We’re excited to get back to sports,” Howey said. 

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Author: Marc Narducci

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