Fall sports postponed, hoping for a 2021 spring season
Mid afternoon on Friday, Aug. 14, the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) announced its decision to postpone the conference schedules and championship seasons for all fall sports. The affected teams include men’s and women’s cross country, men’s football, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s tennis.
Within the same announcement, the MVC revealed that teams would be allowed to participate in practices, lift sessions and any non-conference competition during the fall.
The conference released this statement less than a day after the NCAA announced that the fall championships were canceled, with hope for a potential spring championship season instead.
Loss of the opportunity to compete for a national championship ring alongside the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the various health risks it presents, President Deborah Curtis of the MVC decided it was in the best interest for all athletes and teams to cancel the fall season and look forward to a possible championship season sometime in the spring of 2021.
For the Crusaders, that means there will be no sporting events this fall. All but one of our fall sports teams compete in the MVC. As for football, the Pioneer Football League (PFL) came to the same conclusion as the rest - no fall season.
Though the MVC announced its postponement of the fall season after the NCAA made its final decisions concerning the tournament, the PFL had released its plans on Friday, Aug. 7.
The PFL is a widespread conference, with teams located in California, New York and various midwestern states. This makes travel and transportation difficult enough as it is, and adding a pandemic to the mix doesn’t make things easier. When looking at the bigger picture, meeting all health requirements and COVID-19 mitigation strategies wasn’t seen as possible for the league, thus the decision to postpone the season.
Patrick Oliva, a sophomore kicker on the Valpo football team, indicated that his coaches and the conference are doing everything they can to ensure a spring season, though they can’t make any promises at this time.
“We’re preparing for a spring season.” said Olivia, “Our coaches and the conference are pushing for it, but it will be interesting to see how things go.”
Canceling the season for all fall sports is not ideal, as competition is what every student-athlete works for. However, according to the MVC, the health and safety of not only the athletes themselves, but the coaches and all other members involved in the programs comes first.
In speaking with Amanda Tabanera, a sophomore on the women’s tennis team, she expressed that her feelings on the matter have been a mixture of sadness and confusion.
“It’s just really complicated,” said Tabanera, “no one really knows what’s going on. At first we were supposed to have eight hour practice weeks and now they are saying twenty hours. It’s difficult to figure out your schedule.”
Kelsey Eichenauer, a sophomore on the women’s golf team, had similar thoughts concerning the postponement of her season.
“The decision was made so late. It honestly kind of got my hope’s up.” said Eichenauer. “I thought we might be able to get a few matches in early on, but the longer we waited, the more likely we knew it was to get canceled.”
Whereas fall athletes would normally be starting their competitive season at this time, they are only able to train with no potential for games or travel happening any time soon. As for now, they will continue to work hard and hope for a possible spring season.
The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of The Torch.