The Pacers continue to practice as competition is postponed until 2021


Patrick Lepre, Contributor

With the uncertainty of COVID-19 still raging, the Atlantic East Conference (AEC) decided to postpone fall sports. However, this isn’t stopping the teams at Marywood from preparing for this new spring season.

The AEC also announced that all other competitions for the remainder of 2020 would be postponed. This means that in addition to the fall sports, basketball and swimming and diving teams will not be able to compete until the new year.

Despite these postponements, the conference is still allowing teams to participate in practices and conditioning to prepare for the spring season.

Patrick Murphy, director of athletics and recreation, said that practices are still happening, but with new precautions in place to ensure each player’s safety. One precaution is using pods, self-contained groups of people who limit their non-distanced social interaction to one another without masks.

“This idea of a pod is that if a team has 18 players total I, then they will be split up into [smaller groups] and never be able to intermingle with one another throughout the fall practice season,” said Murphy.

Murphy explained there are also temperature checks.

“Prior to every practice, we take the temperatures of each individual including coaches. If the temperature registers 100.4 degrees or higher, that individual is pulled out of practice and sent to the university health services and is tested,” said Murphy.

In the event an athlete does need to quarantine, then only the people in that person’s pod would be quarantined, not the whole team.

“The rest of the players in the pod will be quarantined until the test results are given,” said Murphy. “If the results are positive then they have to quarantine. If they are negative, then they can go back to resuming activity.”

Molly Sobolewski, a senior captain on the women’s soccer team, said the use of pods has posed a challenge for trying to keep the team’s energy high.

“Now that we need to be socially distant and stay mostly within our pod groups, it is harder to maintain that level of morale,” said Sobolewski. “But, we have had “pod-sta” parties with our pod groups, and we are able to go places as a pod.”

Murphy said he also sees pods as possibly hurting team morale.

“When I say practice, I use that in a term our student-athletes and coaches understand. In essence I really just want to keep them engaged to the best of our ability,” said Murphy.

Soboleski said her hope for a season in the spring keeps her pushing forward.

“I want to be able to have a season,” said Sobolewski. “I want to be able to enjoy my last year with my teammates and even enjoy other sports on campus.”

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