Student-athletes look back at unique fall semester

Practices, training continued despite lack of games or traditional seasons

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Kate Nuelle

From wearing masks during practice to training within smaller pods and social distancing in the Bell Center, sports at Trinity have looked very different this fall. No games were played by the Tigers this fall, but teams were still able to participate in practices and trainings throughout the semester.

With spring on the horizon, there is hope for games across all 18 sports at Trinity. In order for that possibility to become a reality, student-athletes and coaches have had to make major adjustments to stay safe while still getting in practice. Andre Gebhardt, a first-year on the football team, explained that having the season canceled and being limited in practice activities was frustrating even if understandable.

“The [semester] went well overall. It was a little frustrating being restricted in what we could do as a team, but the coaches made sure we kept our masks so we could play,” Gebhardt said.

Santiago Bohlmann, who is also a freshman on the football team, stressed that the team has been doing everything possible to stay safe.

“We’ve been following all the rules that we’ve been told as a team. We’ve been taking care of ourselves,” Bohlmann said.

Harris Good, a junior on the football team, is thankful for the opportunity to even play at all with everything going on around the country.

“It’s definitely been weird with football being a contact sport and is having to spread out so much and follow all the other COVID guidelines, but I think it’s been a lot of fun getting back on campus and playing with all my teammates. I’m glad we got the opportunity to practice, even if it was limited this fall because a lot of schools in the conference couldn’t do anything.”

While football and other sports didn’t get to play games against other schools, that could soon be changing. The Southern Athletic Association (SAA) and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) are currently finalizing spring schedules. Nothing is official yet, and plans are subject to change based on how the pandemic progresses, but there is optimism across campus, according to freshman football player Cole Monaga.

“Our coaches and trainers have done a great job making a protocol for us to follow, which has allowed us to keep practicing all semester, including some live team scrimmaging this week. It’s been great to be able to play football despite everything that’s been brought on from this pandemic, and I think we’re all pretty excited for the upcoming spring season,” Monaga said.

While fall sports like soccer, football, and volleyball felt the suspension of games this semester the most, winter sports like swimming & diving and basketball have yet to compete either. Mary Doyal, a junior on the swimming & diving team, shared her gratitude for a fall semester that went well despite the many challenges presented to all teams at Trinity.

“Fall training was the best it could’ve been, and I’m so thankful we got as much pool time as we did. Training has been great so far, and the team is very excited about next semester,” Doyal said.

As plans for spring seasons continue to be developed, keep a close eye for any updates, perhaps over the next few weeks. According to Justin Parker, schedules could be released by Thanksgiving. Until then, practice is all the Tigers can do as they dream of a competitive and safe spring.