Searsport District 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 Viking student-athletes began work on team court concepts after weeks of individual skills-and-drills work.

Watch video and see nearly 70 photos below.

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

While Searsport sponsored soccer and cross country in the fall, albeit in mostly shortened and altered seasons, it was uncertain, at 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 Vikings hope to play a handful of varsity games in January and February, if COVID-19 and state county distinctions allow.

Searsport 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 Viking girls will be guided by Mel Grant and SDHS boys by Troy Alley.

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