RU athletes reflect on cancellation of spring season
Updated: Apr 8, 2020
by Christian Frazier
With reporting by Samuel Forthofer, Daniel Higgins, Taylor Isenberg, Alexander Mason and Brad Miller
The Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference, which Rochester University competes in, canceled the spring athletic season on March 14. The RU sports affected by this decision were men’s and women’s track and field, baseball, softball, lacrosse, and men’s and women’s golf.
Shield Media reached out to some RU spring sports coaches and athletes to get their response at not being able to compete this semester.
The baseball team went from playing their best baseball in four years to being canceled in a matter of days
RHP, sports management major
“It’s hard working with these guys for six months and not being able to see how that would have played out. We spent more time with each other than we did our own families, and in a couple of days someone that doesn’t know you or your brothers can take everything away from you. It’s the right decision given the circumstances, but it hurts. I especially feel bad for the seniors who have worked for four years for this moment. It’s a tough situation.”
Head baseball coach
"We were playing on Wednesday, a game in which Coach Garth Pleasant was actually in attendance as he spends his winters down there. That was when we heard of the first reported cases in Michigan. At that point, nothing much changed for us except that schools and sports around the country were talking about suspending classes and play. Two days later on Friday, we suspected we might be playing our last game of the season. On Saturday we learned that our season was over."
Track & Field
Senior sports management major
Dietz discovered her season was cut short while on a study abroad trip to Africa, which was also cut short. “Race each race like it’s your last one. You don’t know when it could be taken away from you without you knowing.”
Head Track & Field Coach
“The coronavirus unfortunately affected all spring sports seasons in a negative way. I feel bad for all the seniors like Isabelle Dietz who ended their careers earlier than planned.”
Senior interdisciplinary studies major
Blohm was devastated when she found out her final season was canceled. "No words can describe how fast it was taken. No more games, no more competition in a college program, and no more seeing my favorite people. It was crazy how fast it was taken away from all of us. We thought we had a whole season to come back to, but it was over in the blink of an eye.”
The men's and women’s golf teams have been competing since early September and their seasons were set to conclude with the WHAC championships April 26-28.
Junior accounting major
“At first, we were not sure what COVID-19 is capable of. With golf being outdoors and more than six feet apart, I was hopeful we were going to play. When NCAA came out about canceling spring sports, we assume the WHAC will follow through.... I feel bad for all sports and athletes.”
Gernaat also believes seniors should be able to retain eligibility. "It is really tough because I don’t believe athletes will come back after graduating and spending that money to finish out their eligibility.” The NAIA announced in a statement on March 16 that: “Any spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled full-time in 2020 will be awarded two additional semester terms of attendance or the equivalent.”
Sophomore elementary education major
“I am sad because I miss lacrosse and my teammates, but I understand why they had to do it. I feel bad for the seniors who don't get to play their last season. We'll just have to work a lot harder next season.”
Read more of Shield's in-depth coverage about RU and the impact of COVID-19
Senior regrets missing final events, even Academic Symposium
Seeing light at end of coronavirus tunnel when no "end" is in sight