With the COVID-19 outbreak sweeping our nation, college life has become quite different from what many of us are used to. Traditional classroom lectures have had to transition to the digital setting. Mercyhurst clubs and services have been staying in touch with students through frequent virtual activities.
In a time where face-to-face interaction is extremely limited, one of the most challenging transitions of all has been presented to Mercyhurst athletic teams.
Several Mercyhurst teams were just getting into the swing of their season when the news broke of the necessary cancellations being made throughout all of college athletics.
Both Men’s basketball and Women’s ice hockey were preparing for their respective NCAA tournaments.
“We had some of the bus loaded and then it was determined that we would leave first thing the next morning,” said athletic trainer Jeffrey Haft, who was preparing to depart with Women’s ice hockey. “Just a few hours later the NCAA canceled the remainder of winter and spring sports.”
The wrestling team had already arrived in Sioux Falls, South Dakota when they found out they wouldn’t be able to compete in the National Championships.
Men’s and women’s lacrosse had just started their seasons.
Countless seniors across all spring sports had to watch as their final season came to an unexpected end in the blink of an eye. Saying goodbye to teammates felt rushed for many student-athletes as they packed cars to head home for the remainder of the semester.
Teams must now be optimistic and use their time away from campus to prepare themselves for their next season. Athletes have been staying in contact with teammates across state lines, while coaches are doing the best they can with the resources available to make sure their teams will be prepared when they return.
“We have meetings over Microsoft Teams with Coach and guys have been texting and calling each other to check in and catch up,” said sophomore quarterback Joe Carter of the football team. “Obviously with the gyms closed we have to improvise to stay in shape. Coach has shared a quarantine workout that doesn’t require equipment, which helps.”
Junior Vincent Torrez of the soccer team spoke about their willingness to develop throughout the offseason given the circumstances.
“The guys are working hard to finish the semester and increase their level of fitness,” Torrez said. “Obviously we’d rather be practicing and lifting together but we’re focusing on controlling what we can control and trying to make the most of the situation.”
Although athletics is certainly one of the most affected areas, there is a silver lining. With the right mindset, this uniquely challenging situation is another opportunity for our athletes to patiently develop themselves both mentally and physically, for the future.