Uncertainty plagues student athletics

Miles Shaw

Everyone is wondering when the world will return to normal right now; however, it is an especially challenging and uncertain time to be a student athlete on a college campus.

The press box at WSU's Soccer Field. (Robert Lewis / The Signpost)
The press box at WSU's Soccer Field. (Robert Lewis / The Signpost)

This fall, sports seasons have seen start dates pushed back and changes implemented due to the life-altering effects of COVID-19.

Weber State’s softball team season was cut short before they started league play, which was especially disappointing after coming off conference win the season prior. While they are still the reigning champions, they were unable to defend the title in play.

Empty dugout and stands at WSU"s Soccer Field due to Covid-19. (Robert Lewis / The Signpost)

“We had just finished our last preseason tournament up in Reno, and the next weekend we had a bye, and that’s when we kind of realized what was happening, and the season was potentially going to be over,” Chloe Camarero, infielder for the Wildcat’s softball team, said.

No activity on the scoreboard due to Covid-19 haulting sports at WSU. (Robert Lewis / The Signpost)

Their season ended in a heartbreaking way. With no real warning, the senior players played their last game without even knowing it was their last.

“The seniors will alway be in the back of our minds because we saw firsthand how rough that was,” Camarero said. “A good thing that came out of it was we were able to be together and be there for each other during that time.”

The canceled season hurt that much more because of the season the players were planning on having.

“The year before, we won the tournament and went to the regional, and won our first regional game and made history, and had the best Big Sky record, so that year set the bar really high and then COVID happened,” said Faith Hoe, infielder for the Wildcat’s softball team.

They had big plans for the season and having those plans taken away and put on hold is not easy.

“Coming back after the previous year as Big Sky champions and tournament champions we were just excited to see what we were going to do this next year going forward,” Camarero said.

Student athletes put in a lot of work during the season, and they want to be able to show off all their hard work and dedication.

“It’s just hard because you put so much energy, effort and time, and it’s not just four years like this has been a lifelong goal. We as athletes have been working on and we only get four years to play so that’s really special,” Hoe said.

With this past spring’s sports seasons canceled and with fall sports currently postponed, it leaves student athletes in an unenviable position, and with only guesses of what might come next.

“When we canceled in March it was just like, wait until fall and it’ll all be back to normal and then five or six months later it’s still the same,” Hoe said.

Jeremiah Larsen, Weber State Volleyball’s head coach, said his team has been focused on playing again and is keeping a positive attitude about the situation.

“For the most part, our team has not been affected by it at all; we’re practicing right now as if we’d be playing in the fall, our team is extremely focused and has a great attitude about this and it’s a great opportunity to get better and prepare ourselves for five months from now,” Larsen said.

The spring players feel for the fall teams as they have already experienced the pain of losing a season, and not knowing when for sure they will get to play again.

“We all feel for them because we went through that in the spring, so we know how much that sucks,” Camarero said.

The athletes are remaining hopeful though. They’re still working hard, practicing and preparing for their time on the field, court or diamond.

“It’s just very uncertain, we don’t know how everything is going to play out and with all sports playing in the spring we don’t really know how that’s going to affect us and so it’s a little scary going back into it, but as long as we all stay safe and be careful, all we can do is hope for the best as that’s all we can do at this point,” Camarero said.