CCC suspends fall sports

Fall athletes will be ready to compete in the spring

Megan Julian, Sports Editor

On Friday, July 17 the Commonwealth Coast Conference Board of Directors decided to suspend CCC intercollegiate athletic competition for the fall 2020 semester. Fall athletes will instead compete next spring.

“It was a rough day for college athletics,” said Athletic Director Kiki Jacobs. “Along with the CCC postponing sports, other conferences and schools announced the same thing. A-10, America East, NEWMAC, and NEAC, just to name a few. I think schools are coming to the realization that sports at this time will be a challenge to pull off. The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff are the most important thing to consider. It is very hard to social distance in athletics.”

Jacobs said practices will still be held for fall sports teams. They will be following state, CDC, university and NCAA guidelines.

“They will start in small groups, 10 or fewer, and not share equipment,” Jacobs said.

At this time, there are no differing guidelines between sports that are practiced outside vs. inside, although Jacobs said they are attempting to do as much outside practicing as they can.

Practices for sports such as women’s volleyball will be held in the gym in small groups and the coaches will have to wear masks.

“If we need to go to the athletic trainer, grab water or use the bathroom we have to wear a mask,”  said Sarah Porter, a senior pin hitter on the women’s volleyball team.

Porter said the team was initially disappointed by the announcement.

“Myself and my teammates were disappointed of course, especially being a senior, but at the same time we knew competing in the fall might be far from realistic. The decision made was in the best interest of the health and safety of all athletes. We know that we’ll use the time we have and be prepared to pick up where we left off come spring,” Porter said.

Senior Captain and Midfielder Connor Edwards of the men’s soccer team said the team was devastated.

“We all sort of expected our fall season to be cancelled but when it was confirmed we couldn’t really believe it,” Edwards said. “As a senior captain, I have been looking forward to this season since I was a freshman. Leading out my team for every game was something like a dream of mine so knowing I won’t be able to do that in the fall hurt a lot.”

Even though the team was upset, Edwards made sure to let his team know that there were still a lot of positives for this upcoming year.

“As of now we still have a spring season and will still be able to compete for a CCC championship. As for us seniors, we will actually be able to play more soccer as we can play in the fall and spring so that is a positive as well.”

Women’s soccer players were quite shocked when they heard the news.

“Disappointed, confused and curious are other words I’d use to describe the team’s

overall reaction,” said senior midfielder Jillian Houle.

“After the initial dust settled though, I think the team is slowly beginning to become hopeful again that we may have a spring competition season instead and that we will likely still be able to practice during the fall.”

Houle said the captains have done a great job keeping the team’s spirits up and reminding them to remain positive and to keep training as if the team is still heading into preseason.

“Keeping our minds and bodies occupied with intense training and personal growth is the method I believe most of the girls have chosen to employ,” Houle said.

The men’s cross-country team has also kept up with their regular summer workouts during this time.

“Most of the team had been prepping with weekly running mileage anywhere between 40 and 60 miles. Not much changed about what our workouts usually are in years past since we still have the ability to train on our own,” said senior Tyler Marchioni.

Marchioni said the team’s main focus going into this year is to make sure the team is in shape and having fun.

“We just want to make sure we stay in shape and have fun doing what we love while staying safe… As long as we stay healthy and follow the rules, we will be excited to pick up where we left off when the spring comes around,” Marchioni said.

Overall, athletic teams seemed grateful for the opportunity to possibly be able to compete in the spring. This change may raise concerns about field time for some sports, but Jacobs is prepared to address any dilemmas.

“I am sure we will have some conflicts. We only have one turf field with field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer and men’s and women’s lacrosse using it,” Jacobs said. “It will be a challenge to make it work, but we are determined to do it.”