Student athletes affected by COVID-19

Caitlin Kramer, Contributing Writer

Due to the Covid-19, pandemic, all DII Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) sports have been suspended for the 2020 fall semester. This includes all of Mercyhurst University’s DII sports. For many student athletes, this year’s college experience is already quite different than anyone could have expected. Attending the Mercyhurst sporting events traditionally comes with huge anticipation for both new and returning students alike.

Student athletes have acknowledged that despite the suspension of sporting events, practices will continue to be held. However, there will be some noticeable changes regarding practice.

Athletes must wear a face mask and must keep it on through the remainder of their practice.

Many student athletes have noticed how these COVID-19 policies have affected their training and overall college experience.

Evan Maloney, a junior attackman on the Men’s lacrosse team, spoke about how communication between he and his teammates is limited while off the field.

“We can’t go hang out with everyone at one time, basically I only see my teammates that live in my apartment building throughout the week,” said Maloney.

Maloney also mentioned how his college experience has changed from prior years.

“This has affected my college experience in a couple of ways. Learning over zoom, not being able to do any forms of social gatherings, walking around with a face mask on everywhere you go. It’s just not the same.”

For some of our athletes, COVID-19 has not necessarily affected them on the same level.

“The suspension of sports hasn’t really affected me because I can still lift and workout. My sport isn’t until the spring,” said freshman baseball player Mitchell Grosch.

For some student athletes, the pandemic has pushed them both academically as well as athletically to work harder to achieve their goals.

“This has made me want to train harder and make sure I’m prepared when the spring does come around,” said Grosch.

Nonetheless, this has not stopped students from seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Hopes for the near future involving sports have been on everyone’s mind.

“I just hope sports get played. It’s a great way to have fans at the game but there don’t need to be any if that’s what it takes for sports to continue. I’m all here for it. I just want to play,” said Maloney.

Following proper procedures and exercising social distancing, our athletes can make strides to reach a time when playing competitively is an option.

Hopefully teams can continue to safely participate in their respective sports practices and work around the difficult times we have been challenged with for the time being.