Game Must Go On: UC Pioneers Play Nearly All Sports in One Semester
COVID-19 has certainly changed our lives, to say the least. Did we ever expect it would be over a year later and we are still in this? Well, for starters I have to give props where it's due, parents and guardians, you did so much and to the kids and college students, you got it really hard, but you persevered so well. Thankfully, numbers are lowering, people are getting vaccinated and the weather is turning!
At Utica College, they are taking the post pandemic world by storm and the Pioneers, for the first time in college history, are hosting nearly all of their athletic teams in one semester!
The college's campus run student paper, The Tangerine, says athletic directors, trainers, coaches and other administrators started working on this massive schedule adjustment before the semester even started.
“The plans were formulated using the Empire 8, NCAA and New York State and Oneida County guidelines,” said Jim Murnane, Assistant Athletic Director.
This decision left Utica College with a large task of spearheading their already robust testing system to require student athletes to be tested on a regular basis to keep everyone on campus and in the community healthy and safe.
Now, aside from how organizationally structured everyone had to be to plan this, how has Utica College implemented the practice schedules of all these teams? Thankfully that giant bubble that was built several years ago, known as the Hutton Sports and Recreational Center at Utica College, allowed students to be spread out and it was ideal for the weather we all know and love/sometimes hate in Central New York.
“An indoor facility helps balance practice schedules and give our student-athletes the opportunity to practice when we experience inclement weather conditions during the months of February and March,” Athletic Director Dave Fontaine said.
Midterms are here meaning the semester is half over. The COVID-19 protocols are in place and masks are being worn on the sidelines and benches, when not in play and travel precautions have also been implemented.
“We have just about eliminated all overnight travel,” Athletic Director Dave Fontaine said. “Teams can travel to anyone within the conference. We have modified non-conference competition to avoid longer trips we would normally take during a non-COVID year.”
If you are interested in supporting the Pioneers, you can find their athletic schedule here and remember wherever you go, to please follow COVID-19 guidelines and don't forget those facemasks!
KEEP READING: See how sports around the world have been impacted by the coronavirus
LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions
While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.