Denny Rivera, Campus Carrier asst. sports editor
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had the cancellation of not only the spring athletic season, but the fall season as well. Due to the uncertain nature of the pandemic, there may be confusion about the specifics of cancellations, such as whether competitions would be postponed or cancelled altogether. The Southern Athletic Association (SAA) announced on July 16 that all competitions would be cancelled for this fall. Though he agrees with the call, head men’s and women’s tennis coach Clay Hightower is still saddened by the announcement.
“I think it was the right decision, even though it is extremely disappointing,” Hightower said. “I love watching our football and soccer teams.”
After the July announcement, more and more news was being thrown at students left and right, and the confusion began to settle in. Sophomore Gabby Brown of the cross-country team is among the athletes who were left in the dark.
“Towards the beginning, it was kind of confusing” Brown said. “We kind of knew our season would be cancelled but then we didn’t. It was just a lot of back and forth for a while.”
This uncertainty affected training for athletes as well. Junior Grace Schumacher of the track and field team was unsure of how to prepare herself for a season that may never come.
“Honestly, I did not know what I should do for training,” Schumacher said. “Aside from there being no gyms open, I had no idea if I was going to have a season or not.”
Once the official call to cancel the season was made, however, athletes still get that sense of there being a lack of clarity with the plans for the season. Schumacher admits to feeling lost herself in all of this.
“Everything just feels all over the place,” Schumacher said. “I know everybody is doing the best they can right now, but it is so hard to be prepared for anything, and I’m still worried about losing my season.”
Even through this, Hightower offers words of encouragement to those who lost their season.
“You are not alone right now,” Hightower said. “Find the way to take advantage of this time. Get faster, stronger, and be better at what you do. Challenge yourself to keep pushing.”
According to the NCAA’s official website, the Division III Presidents Council made the decision to cancel championships in fall sports for 2020-2021. Even with the loss of her season, Brown still has the mindset of a determined athlete.
“We just have to face every day like it’s our last,” Brown said. “Just try and get better and better, and train really hard for the season ahead.”