Last week college athletics returned to Monmouth as Fall sports began practicing under new COVID protocols. Provided all goes well, sports will be able to continue to practice for the rest of the semester. Practices have been altered as there are no competitive events scheduled this semester reducing the frequency teams practice throughout the week. Bigger sports teams have been split into smaller groups and train in allotted hour periods. Temperature checks are recorded before practice for athletes to be able to train and the majority of teams are wearing masks at training. In these protocols some athletes are still confused. Women’s Soccer Goalkeeper, Quinn Cutler said “they could be more consistent with their rules.”
With other colleges and programs opting to not allow college athletics, Monmouth has stood out in this regard, allowing teams to practice under COVID protocols. The majority of athletic teams and athletes were extremely keen to return to practice, sentiments echoed by women’s soccer player Ezzie Baltierra-Chavez and Men’s Soccer Players Marcos Garibay and Jack Miller.
However, due to the pandemic some athletes had their trepidations about returning to practice and even to campus. When it comes to practice, Cutler said “whether or not it was worth getting sick for a season that is still up in the air.” Despite the measures the athletic department is implementing, there is no guarantee of avoiding the virus completely. “I don’t think I will feel completely comfortable until a vaccine is put into play,” said Cutler. “But I feel like we’re doing the most we can to stay safe.” A number of teams have seen their interstate and international players remain home and continue to study online and resume their studies and athletics when they can safely return to campus.
Kieren Marshall – Staff Writer