COVID-19 has affected everyone’s lives this year. The new normal comes with many changes, like wearing masks everywhere and making sure to social distance. However, one of the biggest changes is in sports. At Southern Nazarene University (SNU), all sports have been canceled this semester for the players and everyone’s safety.
With the goal of minimizing large gatherings, the best thing to do to keep the SNU community safe was to cancel the games for the semester. While this was the right move to make, it saddened many students and players who were looking forward to this season.
The coaches were also disappointed in the circumstances that the pandemic has caused, but are trying to stay positive. The head coach of SNU football, Dustin Hada, stated, “Our coaching staff and team were really looking forward to playing games this fall. We were unable to have spring practice, then the season got canceled. We have made the most of the circumstances and feel so blessed with the opportunity to practice in October.”
No playing season is especially sad news for the SNU seniors. This is the last season for the seniors to play during their college careers.
Coach Hada spoke about how some members of the football team made a difficult choice this season. “The toughest decisions had to be made by our December graduates. We have had 4 senior December graduates make the decision to not play their last season. Our program supports them 100%. Our goal is to get our players a great degree and provide them with opportunities for lifelong success after they graduate. We have seen this first hand with the senior players that are moving on.”
For the basketball team, there is still hope for a playing season as games are scheduled to begin in January. SNU women’s basketball coach, Trent May, stated, “With the pre-season being a little longer we have tried to manage and keep the big picture, even though these are not normal times. Working hard is a prerequisite to anything great, so hopefully, we will continue down this path since that is in our control.”
While games are not happening this semester, the coaches and players seem to be trying to stay positive and make the best of the circumstances, and the teams are staying safe with COVID-19 precautions. The playing season seems to be on the calendar for next semester, and hopefully, all goes as planned.