By Kit Geary
March 7, 2020, one of the most hated days in NCAA history, marks the day that spring sport athletes all over the country were informed that an entire season was being ripped away from them. College seniors were left to mourn the loss of their beloved college careers and coaches were left questioning how to go about doing their jobs. After processing the fact that I, a member of the women’s lacrosse team, am being deprived of my favorite aspect of St. Mike’s, I wondered how my first year coach, along with other spring sport coaches, are going to do their jobs. How were they going to prepare athletes for upcoming seasons? How are they keeping their teams connected and in touch? How are they going to recruit?
Since leaving the St. Michael’s campus on March 13 my lacrosse coach has hosted weekly zoom meetings and kept us all conversing through Groupme. We were given workouts to do and films to watch. Were other teams doing the same?
To answer my question I set out to talk with the other spring sports. “‘The entire staff interacts with the athletes throughout the week,” said softball coach Nicolas Goodreau, who wants to ensure that his athletes are doing well physically and mentally. “We have weekly Zooms with our mindset coach, our strength and conditioning coach, and myself,” Goodreau said. During this time Goodreau finds himself “upping the social media campaign” through posting workout videos designed by the strength and conditioning coach for athletes, families, and fans to follow.
Men’s lacrosse coach, Alexander Smith, also Zooms throughout the week to keep in touch with his team. Smith has a Canvas page set up to provide some structure to his coaching. There his athletes review film and post wall ball challenges. “We make an effort to communicate through our Canvas page and have our athletes meet as a whole team, as well as smaller groups, to keep in touch with each other during this time.”
A major responsibility of coaches is to recruit student athletes. Saint Michael’s heavily relies on the coaches of the college’s 21 sports teams to help fill their classes. How are coaches supposed to fill the class of 2025 if they are unable to go out, watch games and tournaments, and recruit from high schools?
My women’s lacrosse coach Quinn Rose said she finds herself referencing old game footage during this time. “Whether there will be summer recruiting tournaments is up in the air, all I have right now to pull from is game footage,” says Rose.
Coach Smith said he finds himself running into the same issues. “Not only can I not recruit on a larger national scale as I would like to, but even recruiting athletes locally is now a challenge I didn’t think I would have to face,” Smith said. Both Smith and Goodreau are hopeful they will be able to host fall prospect days in order to view some of the class of 2025’s talent.
While these coaches have a future of college athletes to look forward to, senior student athletes only have past seasons to reflect upon. “Having your senior season cancelled hits hard. Iit’s something you look forward to your whole college career,” said Julia Sevigny ‘20, an outfielder for the softball team. Sevigny is devastated by the loss of her season but cannot wait to see the places her team goes in the upcoming years.
“This season was something I dreamed of when I was young and what I looked forward to all of my four years, and it vanished,” said Katrina Pietz ‘20, midfielder for the lacrosse team.
For both athletes it’s the time cut short with their teammates that hurt the most the most. “My teammates and coaches are people I have formed incredible relationships with, but I know that will live on forever, no matter where we end up,” Pietz said.