By: Jay Simon; The Whetstone
Senior Darin Matthews said he is confused about what he will be playing in the upcoming spring season.
“Having to choose between football and baseball will be hard for me,” he said. “I’m going to try to juggle both by taking care of my body and making sure it gets the treatment it needs to allow me to keep playing sports.”
Matthews, like many other dual sports athletes, is troubled by being both a fall and spring athlete. The fall 2020 season was postponed until the 2021 spring season which means some athletes might have to pick one. The 2020 spring season was canceled less than half way through due to Covid-19.
Senior women’s lacrosse player Kassie Dieter is looking forward to finishing what the team started after their last season ended early.
“There was a lot of talent that came through in the first couple of games and we were going to be a force to be reckoned with in the conference,” she said. “We were starting to mesh together and was excited to see how far we could get into conference playoffs.”
Dieter said it was difficult and frustrating hearing the conference cancel the rest of the season last spring.
“If we don’t get a chance to compete this season, I will be devastated,” she said. “It is my senior season and I do have goals set for myself before I graduate. If I don’t get to compete for two seasons in a row, it will leave a bitter taste in my mouth.”
Senior men’s lacrosse player Logan Wilson said he was looking forward to possibly having the chance to play and finish their season.
“It was disappointing to have the season canceled, especially how early in the season it was,” he said. “It would be a letdown if we could not play this season. It’s the last year I have to play since I am a senior and am not going to return just for lacrosse.”
Senior softball player Bianca Newsom said she couldn’t at first believe the last spring season was canceled.
“Slowly watching the signs unfold that the season would probably be ending felt like a dream,” she said. “I still, and probably for a while will, look back now and then and wonder what the season could have been and it’s heartbreaking.”
Newsom said not being able to play for the second season in a row will be upsetting.
“When this all started in March, no one thought (COVID) would even last this long, so to have to prepare myself to possibly not have a season next year almost feels surreal again,” she said.
Newsom said it’ll be especially tough for dual-sport athletes who play in the fall and spring and are going to have some tough choices to make.
“I wouldn’t be able to make a decision on just one sport if it were me,” she said. “I see a lot of people run from practice to practice and wonder how they do it.
Junior women’s soccer and lacrosse player Emily Magness is one of many dual-sport athletes in the same boat as Matthews.
“I think it will be difficult to have all of the sports playing at the same time and there are a lot of things that will have to fall into place for it to all work out,” she said. “I don’t want to have to pick a sport, but it will definitely be difficult to balance both. It will be a lot on our bodies to try to do both games.”
Players aren’t the only ones who are worried with the possible conflicts that could arise from having fall sports as the same time as spring sports.
Head women’s soccer coach Ed Muntz said he is not sure how the spring season will look for dual athletes.
“There might be some overlap in seasons, but of course we will work with those student athletes,” he said. “Yet, if players want to only play one sport, I will of course support their decision. I think it’s wonderful that student athletes choose to play dual sports and they are always supported within the women’s soccer program.”
Head softball coach Juli Greep said she has several dual sport athletes.
“The key in this is simply communicating with your athletes and their coaches to come up with a plan that works best for all parties involved,” she said. “If a student is planning to play multiple sports in a single season, my advice would be to work extremely hard to make sure their body is at the right fitness level to ensure they can safely achieve their goals within both programs.”
Damani Eason contributed to this story.