By: Sean McNerney
BROCKPORT, N.Y. – Many students came to SUNY Brockport hoping to play sports throughout their college career. Over the past year, the coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone across the nation and even worldwide. It has made athletics much harder for students, making some want to quit. In the fall semester, many teams were dismissed due to players refraining from the college’s guidelines. This has discouraged some athletes but has also made some ready and anxious to get back on the field.
For Tyler Brosius, a student at SUNY Brockport, it has been a challenge for him trying to play lacrosse during the pandemic.
“I have been on the team since I came here as a freshman, I entered the college with an injury so I’ve been maintaining a backup goalie role for the last couple of years,” said Brosius. “After hearing the new updates for the spring semester I decided to quit lacrosse and focus on other things for now.”
Many students are in a similar situation as Brosius, since everything is changing daily and making things unknown, people would rather sit out.
COVID-19 has affected many student-athletes, causing some to stop playing the sport they love and some to hold out and hope for better times. The Associate Director of Athletics Susan Hoffman is confident about teams competing throughout the season.
“At this point, we plan on having competition for all spring sports, teams will be competing within the SUNYAC conference and will have the option to schedule two or three more additional dates,” said Hoffman.
SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras stated that the first SUNYAC conference contest will be held on March 20 starting with lacrosse.
Now that athletes can participate in competitions again, the college is working hard to keep them safe and healthy. To prevent teams from being cancelled due to sickness, the college has a plan to keep them safe.
“The college is pool testing weekly. All students that are present on campus during the week even if it is for one day need to be tested. Students that do not pool test on a weekly basis are forwarded to student conduct.” said Hoffman
Another student at SUNY Brockport, Roodjerry Genius, has found it difficult to play soccer during the pandemic
“Before the pandemic hit in march I was playing with the club soccer team. I was just getting to know people and the season was just about to start up.” said Genius “It seemed like they sent us home at the worst time. I am currently not playing with the club team, but have some hope for next year.”
According to Hoffman the athletes are facing many challenges right now due to the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The biggest challenge is mental health. The unknown from day to day whether they will be able to practice and compete. This really affects their mental wellbeing,” Hoffman said.
Club baseball president Skyler Cain is working with his team to stay together and ready to go. Cain is currently in his first year of presidency and is hopeful for the spring season.
“As a team we have not been able to do much together, we have been conditioning as a team but that about it, we are not allowed to use baseballs because they are considered shared equipment. In an effort to keep the team bond going I started a fantasy baseball league to keep the team actively communicating, overall this season has been tough so far, “ Cain said.
Athletes facing uncertainty in their season are doing their best to get through these tough times. One of the main questions circling is what the futures are going to look like for sports. According to Hoffman getting insight on what will happen in months to come may not be possible.
“We are under the SUNY, the State of New York and the county of Monroe guidelines,” Hoffman said. “Also all activities need to be approved by our on campus Emergency Operations committee. We must follow their direction.”
As the spring semester advances, COVID-19 guidelines are being updated as soon as possible. Many athletes have already made the choice of whether they will be playing this season or not. Students planning to play through the coronavirus pandemic will be hoping for good news throughout the season. The future is unknown, but the hope is that this will be the last season affected by COVID- 19.