By Jordyn Sava
With the Spring semester rolling into session with an in-person element, student activities are beginning their roll out. However, there will be a bit of a delay before spring sports are set to kick off.
In the midst of the Fall semester, President Foster released a tentative outline with a hybrid plan for returning to campus in the spring. In an updated email released on Jan. 26, it was stated that spring sports are set to begin on Feb. 22, and will conclude as usual in the last week of May.
“The choice to delay the start of the season makes sense considering the circumstances going on right now with Covid-19 and cases in New Jersey,” said Benjamin Amon, a sophomore business major and member of the baseball team. “I think it will give us more time to bond as a team and start preparing for the season ahead of us.”
In addition to the delay of the spring season, each sport was classified for its risk level. The determination of each team’s risk was based on the nature of each activity, in regards to the ways they practice as well as the potential to transmit Covid-19 to others.
For instance, some low-risk sports include cross country and tennis, while on the high-risk end of the spectrum falls sports like basketball, soccer and lacrosse.
Additionally, the Lions Gaming team at the College, otherwise known as esports, will also be considered low-risk. Their practices and competitions must be done virtually.
“When I first found out that we would be having a delayed season, I was very excited but also a little bit skeptical,” said sophomore math secondary education major and basketball player Sydney Blum. “A lot of division 3 women’s basketball conferences have canceled their seasons completely, so I am just fortunate to get a chance to play and compete this year.”
On top of the delayed season, all student athletes will be required to get rapid tests for Covid-19 leading up until the start of their season. When the season starts, the testing will happen three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
“Athletes and athletic department staff have been receiving rapid antigen virus tests three times per week since early January,” Foster wrote.
While some may be a bit weary or nervous to get tested so often, both Amon and Blum have a similar response to the protocols put in place for the spring semester.
“I am not a morning person, so waking up at 8 am to get tested three times a week is not ideal,” Blum said. “However, I am willing to do whatever it takes to be able to play.”
Athletes all throughout the College are ready to get to their seasons and are prepared to get back to doing what they love.
“I think all of the guys are excited to get going,” Amon said. “We've been waiting to play since our season got canceled last year!”
At this time, the College is still not permitting any fans or spectators at its athletic events. Local conditions surrounding the college will be monitored as the season goes on to see if any can be accommodated. But for now, state gathering limits prohibit attendees.