Belfast Area High  School basketball teams took to the court on Monday, Jan. 4 for the first official Maine Principals' Association-allowable team-oriented practices.

Donning face coverings and implementing social distancing when possible, the Lion student-athletes began work on team court concepts after weeks of individual skills-and-drills work.

Watch video and see nearly 60 photos below.

The pandemic has, of course, changed everything for everyone, including school-sponsored sports.

While Belfast sponsored golf, soccer, field hockey, cross country and 7-on-7 flag football in the fall, albeit in mostly shortened and altered seasons, it was uncertain, a one point, if most winter sports would be allowed due to their indoor nature and necessity for participants to wear face masks and limit the number of people in a space.

But, like all of the state's high school hoop athletes, the Lions hope to play a handful of varsity games in January and February, if COVID-19 and state county distinctions allow.

Belfast will play a regional schedule.

Due to the pandemic and continued spikes of positive COVID-19 cases around the state, safety protocols continue everywhere, in schools, pools, ski slopes and gymnasiums.

The Lion girls will be guided by Jojo Oliphant and Belfast boys by Marty Messer.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at or by phone at 594-4401.