After nearly 700 days without seeing sports such as softball, baseball, tennis, lacrosse and outdoor track played at the high school level, those sports finally returned on Monday afternoon.

Spring sports (finally) return for local high schools

Matt Riordan, the new Beverly High boys lacrosse coach, looks on as the Panthers return to the turf for the first time since the 2019 after last spring was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.JAIME CAMPOS/Staff photo

Spring sports (finally) return for local high schools

Adam Shipp cradles the ball while participating in passing drills for the Beverly High lacrosse team Monday.JAIME CAMPOS/Staff photo

The 2021 Massachusetts high school spring sports season kicked off in earnest on the first official day of practice for teams. Squads from across the North Shore went outside under sunny but windy conditions to practice in an official capacity for the first time since the end of the 2019 season. 

Spring sports across the Commonwealth were cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. While COVID-19 hasn't gone away completely, athletic teams at the high school level have been able to compete in various sports in the fall, winter and 'Fall 2' seasons with various protocols and new policies in place.

Spring sports (finally) return for local high schools

Ian Visnick practices his swing for the Beverly High baseball team on the first day of practice Monday.JAIME CAMPOS/Staff photo

Spring sports (finally) return for local high schools

New Beverly High boys head lacrosse coach Matt Riordan surveys the scene during his team's first official practice of the season Monday on the turf at Forti Field.JAIME CAMPOS/Staff photo 

Spring sports (finally) return for local high schools

Panther infielder Anthony Mastroianni fires a throw to first base Monday.JAIME CAMPOS/Staff photo

For many of North Shore student-athletes, the return to the spring sport of their choice on Monday was a long time coming.

Spring sports (finally) return for local high schools

Members of the Beverly High girls track and field team run laps around the track at Beverly High during the first official day of spring sports practice Monday.JAIME CAMPOS/Staff photo

Spring sports (finally) return for local high schools

Baseball High head baseball coach John Cahill gives out instructions to his players on the first day of practice Monday.JAIME CAMPOS/Staff photo

Spring sports (finally) return for local high schools

Beverly High boys lacrosse teammates Will Tenhope (left) and Jeff Hallinan battle for the ball as spring sports practices kicked off Monday.JAIME CAMPOS/Staff photo 

While the Pingree School has already started playing games in certain sports, the rest of the local schools in The Salem News readership area will begin playing actual games next week.

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