We can. We will. We must
By Andrew Reed
March 14th, 2020. 6 months has passed since the last game was played by a University of Jamestown sports team, until last weekend. The Jimmies women’s soccer team defeated Graceland University and William Penn University in Iowa to kickstart the year for all Jimmie sports teams. As eager as everyone is to get back to normal college life with practices, classes, seeing old friends, new faces and getting back to game time action, we must remember this is not a normal year.
COVID-19 has affected the entire world and very specifically has affected college sports at all levels. Some divisions are postponed, some are cancelled and some, like the GPAC in the NAIA, are trying to push through and continue with sports almost unfazed. As you likely have seen, new protocols have been implemented around campus to combat the virus and keep us on track for complete seasons in all fall sports and to keep having in-person classes for the rest of the semester.
University President Polly Peterson’s email from September 3rd sent out to all faculty and staff outlined the goals set for the university and what changes are being made, including a new “COVID-19 dashboard” that shows positive cases and close contacts on campus. She ended this email with a new anthem that personifies the universities efforts: “We can. We will. We must.”
Other precautions have been taken on the field and in the classroom including masks on campus, free testing, and temperature and symptom checks everyday before practices. These changes may seem small but adding this onto the workload of a student-athlete can prove challenging sometimes.
Starting quarterback of the Jimmies football team Cade Torgerson had this to say: “I wouldn’t say this is difficult, but it is new and that’s the challenging part of it, everyone’s adjusting to what seems like the new normalcy.” He continued by complementing the coaches and staff here on campus. “Everyone’s doing a good job with it and I think it’s just a testament to the campus and the coaches and everyone working together to make this happen for everyone.”
Emma Stoehr, a senior on the Jimmies women’s basketball team, agrees, “The most difficult part about these protocols put in place on campus and within sports is the unknown that each day brings. One day you could be practicing with all 20 people and then the next day you could be practicing with only half the team.”
I also asked Colton Lund, a 2nd year graduate assistant for the Men’s Basketball team, about the teams toughest challenge. “I think one of the biggest adjustments for us is just being 6 feet apart and socially distancing, you know, during our workouts. Our team is built around our culture of being, you know, a close, tight knit team.”
Everyone realizes the difficulties that this year brings and sees the challenges of the future. The outstanding part is the perseverance of the University and its athletes to keep pushing through. The student athletes and the university want games to be played and classes to continue.
To achieve this goal, we must work together and follow COVID-19 protocols to keep our campus safe and our athletes on the field.