The return of fall sports
Sofia Rositani – Editor-In-Chief
This semester students will be able to watch Fall sports.
Women’s Field Hockey midfielder, Alyssa Haskins, a senior, is looking forward to being able to play this season. She was upset that last year she was unable to play with her friends, but this year she is looking forward to guiding the new players.
“I am a bit nervous that with the new strands of COVID-19, we may not be able to finish our season or semester. In the meantime, I’m going to continue to make the best of what we have and hope that Southern’s community stays safe and healthy,” Haskins said.
For this semester, Associate Director of Athletics/Athletic Communications
, Ken Sweeten said that the department will be putting many different policies in place for games to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
“So, it’s kinda business as usual but with that added layer that we need to adhere for students’ safety under Covid protocols,” Sweeten said.
Sweeten said that the one challenge everyone is facing is getting back into the “groove” of sports.
“These Fall athletes haven’t had a season since 2019. So, I think a lot of them are just getting back up to speed just like a lot of us are,” Sweeten said.
For Haskins, last year was difficult because while she was training in person, many of her other teammates did it online with them.
“So far, this season has been right up to speed with 2 years ago: a tough preseason, working hard, team bonding, and making new friends,” Haskins said.
Men’s Cross-Country runner Chris Lebeau, a senior, said that since this could be his last season in cross country, he is nervous but extremely motivated to bring the team far. He said he hopes to get to the national championship.
“I’m really looking forward to having the opportunity to compete cross country again this fall. Losing last season due to COVID-19 was disappointing as we were excited to race. The most exciting thing about the return of Fall Sports is having the opportunity to train with my whole team at Southern,” Labeau said.
Being able to run with the team daily has helped with the team’s motivation and morale, Labeau said.
“I am very excited for the return of Fall Sports. Sports bring excitement to campus no matter what team you’re on. Walking through the field house or outside and seeing all our teams training just makes me excited myself to compete again,” Labeau said. “As a team, we have been training very well so far. Team morale is high, and we all seem ready to compete, both older and younger guys. I’m excited to see what everyone can do.”
Sweeten said that this year, the COVID-19 restrictions will be the same in sports as they are with events on campus.
“We’re asking people to mask indoors and outside when they can be where they’re comfortable outdoors and socially distance wherever they possibly can be in those circumstances. But I don’t believe we will be restricting crowds or anything like that,” Sweeten said.
Like Haskins and Labeau, many athletes are looking forward to going back on the court and field and being able to follow the COVID-19 guidelines in place will help them continue to play sports on and off campus.
Sweeten said, “They’re all excited to get back out there. Even our Spring sports all of them ended up having shorter seasons than they normally would, but there were a lot of cancellations because of Covid. So, I think what we’re looking forward to most is getting back to normal.”