All spring athletes at Monmouth College have had to deal with what was previously unthinkable: losing their entire season due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. While this decision was the right one in terms of keeping everyone safe, it was clearly met with disappointment and grief. Junior track athlete Arika Hofmann said: “There are only a limited number of times in your career that you can put on that jersey, and even more limited minutes you are racing in it with your teammates. It is cliché, but this experience has made me cherish all the little moments with my team.” These sentiments are also echoed by sophomore runner Gavin Conway: “For me as a freshman, it’s been tough because I was really looking forward to my first outdoor track season and the push for another conference title. Now, I will have to wait another year to get that opportunity. Luckily for me, I still have three more years, but for the seniors on our team, they are not that fortunate. The biggest thing for me now is just to get myself prepared physically and mentally for running in the fall, and to be as optimistic as I can that we will return as scheduled.” For junior CJ Bonifer, the loss of the outdoor track season meant that he will have to wait for this fall’s cross-country season to compete again. He says, “Having your athletic season cut short by something far out of your control is indescribable. I was coming off of an injury and ready to compete at the next level again, and now I will never have that.”
For many of us, being able to compete at the Division 3 level represents the opportunity to continue playing the sports we love without the pressure of scholarship money on the line. We are athletes competing for the joy of the sport, not to earn a paycheck or to fund our education. Anyone who loses their spring sport is obviously going to be disappointed, but hopefully, this brief hiatus from competition enables us all to appreciate the sports we love even more.
Riley Dulin – Sports Editor