Athletics canceled due to COVID-19
By Xavier Sanchez
The seriousness of COVID-19 has started to set in with the public. As politicians set ordinances, sports leagues tried to continue as long as possible but reality soon kicked in. This past week of sports came to an abrupt end as many leagues began to cancel games, tournaments, and even seasons. At Loras College, these rulings were felt by many athletes as they saw their seasons, postseasons, and careers come to an end.
Loras College athletes would have had a busy weekend as three teams were competing in Nationals or making a tournament run. There were also a few spring sports that were away traveling or just continuing their season as normal. Wrestling was in Cedar Rapids, IA gearing up to potentially bring home a National Championship, 15 track athletes were in Winston-Salem, N.C. for the Indoor National Championship, and the women’s basketball was in Holland, MI making a Sweet 16 appearance. Baseball was also in Florida competing and lacrosse, softball, and volleyball all had bright seasons ahead of them.
Some of the athletes and coaches voiced their feeling relating to this situation. Others had a hard coming to terms with what is all going on and wanted to remain silent.
For first year wrestler Shane Weigel and his teammates, it was about to be an exciting weekend full of competition and likely glory. Weigel’s first year was one filled with great success, memories and appreciation for his teammates. He hopes for himself and future teammates to step up and wrestle in their honor.
“I still to this moment feel like it’s all a dream,” said Weigel. “The seniors like Guy, Eddie, Murray, and Clint all welcomed me in with open arms at the beginning of the year.”
Much like Weigel, women basketball athlete Courtney Schnoor was so glad to be surrounded by great teammates all season long that saw them “break records and make history.”
“I feel blessed more than anything right now. I can’t really put into words what this year was like and how amazing the seniors are, not only as basketball players but also just people,” said Schnoor.
Lacrosse athlete and senior Olivia Flynn was in the midst of her final season, ready to prove the commitment she and her teammates have put in. Unfortunately, they will not be able to play the season, leaving the team in sadness, anger, and confusion.
“I think I speak for every senior in this position right now when I share how sad I am to not have a senior day, to not have the opportunity to play a game knowing it could be your last, and to not have one last practice,” said Flynn. “I still feel like I am living in a fake world, it’s just surreal. I am extremely grateful for my time as an athlete and will forever cherish the lessons it taught me. Especially the lesson we are all being taught during this time.”
Across many of the coaches and athletes, a common sentiment was shared about the seriousness of the situation but especially remembering what has been accomplished and that no one can take that away from those teams.
Head wrestling coach T.J. Miller was away in Cedar Rapids with his team. As a coach, he would have loved to watch the continued success of his athlete but instead had to be a leader in sharing the reality of the situation.
“I’m sad, frustrated, angry, all at once. I don’t think anything I’m going to say is going to make anything better. It’s a completely strange and bizarre time in history,” said Miller. “My heart breaks for all athletes across America. With history I can say this, what these seniors did for this college can’t be measured.”
Baseball athlete and senior Bill Luzzo was in Florida when the news of the season ending broke. He was shocked to see everything come to a halt and felt his team was poised for a big run in the conference. It is a “lesson learned” for him but was grateful for the memories he made with his Loras College teammates.
“A season can be taken in instant but no one can take away hard work and memories you made,” said Luzzo.
Writers Note: I am thankful for all those who reached back to me and shared their feelings on the situation. This situation is complex and not easy to fully comprehend but the health of society should remain important. I appreciate all the Loras College athletes for their dedication to teammates, coaches, and Loras College. Their dedication and work ethics were an example for all of us and gave us the motivation to be the best in whatever we are involved in. Thank you!