Spring has almost arrived and, as the flowers start to bloom from the snow, fall and winter athletes around campus are defrosting their bodies for a modified season. With the cancellation of many sports last fall, players have lost performance opportunities. Whether it was first-years missing out on their first college games or seniors unable to take the field for their final year, student athletes and fans alike were disappointed with the result of what happened. Yet, with spring finally arriving, players are ecstatic for a chance to hit the field, court and ice to compete for St. Olaf.
Being unable to compete can be a mentally draining thing for an athlete to endure. Going from playing games every week against competition to a string of months without even being able to practice is very tough. Now, with the announcement of games and scrimmages across multiple sports, athletes can look forward to preparing themselves and getting ready to play again.
First-years now have the opportunity to gain experience. Being on the football team, I saw many differences within my season that I would never have thought of as a first-year. The anticipation of practicing day after day before a game and the initial team bonding are now replaced with COVID-19 pods and sitting in your dorm room on Saturday afternoons. It was tough for first-years, but finally their patience gets to be somewhat rewarded with playing against new faces and gaining that in-game savvy that practice could never teach.
This spring season also gives seniors a final opportunity to play. People like Julie Graf ’21 on the softball team can come back and go out with a bang, hopefully winning a national championship in the process. Even though this may not be the most ideal of circumstances, seniors will at least be able to go all out a couple more times instead of sitting and not being able to do anything about it.
Spring is going to bring a lot of opportunities for people to shine in whatever sport they play. I know many people are hungry to play their sport again, and I am extremely excited to see what people do in the limited games and scrimmages they have. I know that I will be putting everything I can into this shortened season, so I can only imagine the amazing things others will be doing as well.