Coaches and Athletes Weigh in on the Return to Competition

Albion College's football team is one of many D3 sports teams at the college. With a new ruling made by the NCAA over the summer, college athletes can now profit off their name, image and likeness (Photo by Patrick Smoker).

The COVID-19 pandemic brought change to the world of sports. Regular testing, social distancing, limited contact and other measures are in place to ensure players’ safety throughout the seasons played amid the pandemic. 

Across the country, many colleges and universities have had to forgo their winter sports seasons due to the ongoing pandemic. Albion has been fortunate enough to have its winter sports return this year. 

“We have implemented chairs as players in drills so we can stay six feet away from each other more often,” said Caden Ebling, a senior basketball player from Shelby. “Road games are pretty much the same, except we have to wear special KN95 masks on the bus.”

Caden Ebling, a senior center for the Albion men’s basketball team, is excited to still have his season this year. After nearly a year of missed competitions, athletes and coaches alike have many thoughts on competing in the pandemic (Photo courtesy of Savannah Waddick).

Ebling said practices have changed in order to keep the players safe and limit contact with each other. Basketball players are tested three times a week. Though the frequency of testing varies depending on the level of contact elicited from the sport, all student-athletes must fill out health reports every day. 

Head Men’s Basketball Coach Jody May said that players are wearing masks for every practice and every game. Every practice is recorded for contact tracing purposes alongside assigning players assigned seats on the bus. 

Even with these new rules, May is more than excited to have a season. 

I first want to thank everyone at Albion for giving us the opportunity to practice and play.  There are many colleges and universities across the country which have canceled athletics for this year,” said May. “It’s a credit to our administrators for understanding the importance of athletics on campus and allowing us these opportunities.” 

Albion’s Women’s Basketball Head Coach Doreen Carden, felt the same. 

“We are just grateful that we have the opportunity to compete so far this year,” said Carden “I wasn’t sure we would even be where we are at right now. We are just taking it day by day.” 

Basketball is only playing conference games this season and there will be no MIAA championship tournament. 

Albion’s men’s basketball looks forward to hosting Calvin this Thursday at 7:30 while the women’s team travels this Thursday to take on Calvin at 7:30. 

Both indoor track and field and swim and dive have seen their seasons cut shorter than normal due to the pandemic.

About Hayden Bakker 5 Articles
Hayden is a senior from Holland, Michigan. He is a double major in Economics & Management and English with a concentration in professional writing. Outside of working for the Pleiad, Hayden is an aspiring musician looking to get into coaching and sports management.

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