As numbers of positive COVID-19 cases and detection of close contacts continued to rise in the on-campus testing session a few weeks ago, Guilford College’s sports teams are still in the midst of their mandated two-week pause. This pause on sports began with an email that was sent out to the community on Jan. 24, informing everyone of the halt: effective immediately. With this pause enforced by the College’s leaders, frustration and concern is rising in many of Guilford’s student athletes.
“Personally, I understand that the administration is clearly working to keep us safe,” said Jacob Moore, a senior football player. “It’s frustrating, but it’s not something I can control, so I just try to do my part.”
Campus officials are currently enforcing several guidelines in an attempt to lower numbers of positive cases. Some of the measures include the 3 W’s—washing hands, wearing a mask and watching distance—barring guests from campus, banning guests within dormitory rooms (including other Guilford students) and extending remote learning until Feb. 15.
Especially with these rules in place, the desire and concern of many student athletes to experience some game time is growing.
“I am not too confident that we will finish the season out fully,” said senior softball player Abigayle Rowell. “I think it’ll depend on how our players maintain their health. I have high hopes that we will since it will be my senior season. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.”
Although Guilford’s sports teams are facing many obstacles during this challenging time, many athletes have high hopes for their team’s potential season.
“If we are able to have a season, I believe our team will surprise many people,” commented junior baseball player Max Lattomus. “We have a solid group of core players, but really haven’t had much of a chance to develop team chemistry. That will certainly influence our success as a team going forward.”
Not only do these student athletes have high hopes and expectations for their seasons overall, but many of them are eager to get back to the game they love. Sophomore Justin Woody is one of the many.
“I have high hopes for our season and team,” he commented. “We have had a lot of obstacles to get to where we are at. There was a high morale the last week we were able to workout as a team, and I would assume everyone is as eager to get back as I am.”
The hope of many student athletes and the College’s sports fans is to see lower case numbers on our campus and to see our student athletes playing the games they love so much.
Rowell emphasized that even though her senior season might be cut short, she is trying to see the good in this tough situation.
“I just try to focus on all the good that softball has brought throughout my life and the past four years,” she said. “I have so many friendships to be thankful for and that is what I try to focus on. I have come to peace with the fact that this is my last season and I’m thankful I will have some farewell to it instead of it being ripped away from me like it was for the seniors last year.”
Moore shares similar sentiments.
“I’m just thankful to have made it to my fourth year of college football,” he said. “That’s not something I take lightly, I’ve seen people lose this opportunity for all kinds of reasons so COVID or no COVID, I’m excited to play.”
Especially throughout this difficult time, the resilience and hope in our student athletes is particularly visible. This strong sentiment is shared by many students, who hope to keep the campus healthy and to get our players back to their sports.