By Mitchell Baddour
As the calendar year flips into the month of February, our campus continues to welcome students back for in-person instruction. At the same time, student athletes are preparing for an historic spring season. We are also happy to announce the beginning of the 2021 Spring Athletic Season. Many individuals have worked tirelessly in an attempt to provide our University with the safest plan to partake in a typical athletic semester.
For the first time in the history of William Peace University, all 17 teams will compete during the spring season. Ensuring the safety of the players and coaches is the main responsibility.
In order to do so, our skilled team of athletic trainers and department heads have designed a procedure that will address all uneasiness attached with the virus. Currently, students who are a part of any athletic team must be tested three times a week with results deeming they are negative.
Once an individual test positive, he or she will be removed from competition and quarantined until cleared by the athletic trainers. Testing for the teams is held on different days and times located in Hermann Athletic Center on campus.
A recent development occurred on February 5th, when the USA South announced that no spectators would be allowed entry to any conference affiliated event.
Many athletes have been compliant with the new protocol. The constant between many of the athletes we have on campus is the desire to play the game they love. These individuals will do anything to touch a field after months of isolation.
“After the way, we developed as a team throughout the season last year, we are really eager to get back on the field and compete again. Yes, the new procedures add new responsibilities but that’s a small trade-off for the chance to play our sport,” said Raine Greene, sophomore midfielder on the soccer team.
One of the differences that will be noticeable immediately as competition begins will be the lack of fans in attendance. We’ve all seen the great competitive advantages that have been lost over the past few months due to social distancing. Now, we are given the opportunity to watch the effect it takes on our level.
“I anticipate the fact of not having many fans there will really be weird for me. I am a guy who thrives off of the crowd and the energy that they inject into the game, so I feel like that will definitely be the strangest part,” said junior pitcher Samuel Peddycord.
Even though spectators will be limited, a majority of athletic events will be streamed on William Peace’s Youtube.