By Jensyn Hartzell
Sports Section Editor
Washington College student-athletes that are currently residing only in Chestertown have been approved by the College and the Centennial Conference to begin practicing.
Full-team practices have not been approved, but since there are only a handful of athletes from each team living in Chestertown, they are allowed to practice together.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, all student-athletes and coaches are required to wear masks unless in gameplay and have their temperatures taken before every practice session.
Student-athletes are also required every day to fill out a simple questionnaire on Emocha, an app used to track symptoms of the Coronavirus. Athletes rank how they feel and if they show any symptoms of COVID-19, then they are unable to practice for up to a week.
“It has been a little weird to check in before each session, but we are getting used to it,” senior WC men’s soccer player James Strine said.
“It’s definitely different, but it is a blessing to even be out there with my teammates,” senior WC men’s lacrosse player, Matt Schellenger said.
Practices occur two to four times a week depending on each individual team. No team is allowed to go into full scrimmages, which leaves the focus to be on technical work.
“[Lacrosse] is primarily focusing on skill development, which includes stick work, shooting, ground balls, footwork, defensive positioning, and basic team concepts” Head Coach of the WC men’s lacrosse team, Jeff Shrink said .
“We are focusing on the idea of getting back into shape while having fun,” junior WC women’s swimmer Teresa Draves said. “It’s been awesome to be back in the water with everyone.”
Coaches and student-athletes alike are happy to be able to do what they love again.
“It has been so refreshing to be back on the softball field,” Head Coach of the WC softball team, Sally Snover said. “Our student-athletes are really showing off their dedication and resilience, and for me, personally, it is incredibly exciting to see all the talent that we have on the roster.”
“Practices have been going really well,” senior WC women’s lacrosse player Meghan Dean said. “It’s really nice to get back on the field with my teammates and play the sport we love.”
Yet, these current practices still cannot indicate whether athletics at WC or the Centennial Conference will be able to continue practicing or have a real season again in the coming semester.
The unpredictability of COVID-19 has student-athletes and coaches left in the dark for when their next season will be.
“We definitely do not know what the future holds,” Head Coach of the WC baseball team, Cory Beddick said. “We are optimistic that we will be able to have as normal of a spring season as possible.”
“Our team is taking advantage of our time together this fall in hopes of having a very successful 2021 season,” junior WC women’s lacrosse player, Olivia Miller said.
Teams have also been spending time lifting weekly in the Johnson Fitness Center on campus.
“This year has been a challenge for everyone on Earth,” Head Coach of the WC men’s soccer team, Roy Dunshee said. “But in times like this, it’s great to be part of a team.”