All Goshen College athletic events will be suspended until April 1, the interim athletic director team informed student athletes in an email Friday evening. The announcement followed a decision by the Crossroads League earlier in the day to suspend competition in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference, of which the men’s volleyball team is a member, canceled the 2020 spring season for good.
The GC athletic teams most affected are the four currently in season: baseball, softball, track and field and men’s volleyball.
The men’s volleyball team found out Friday evening that their win against Judson University on Saturday, March 7 was the last game of their season.
For the time being, the baseball, softball and track and field teams plan to resume their seasons in three weeks time. Missed games and competitions will not be made up.
“Right now what we know is that we still have a championship,” Rustin Nyce, head track and field coach told his team at their practice on Friday. “Let’s operate under that assumption until we’re told differently.”
The five track and field athletes who qualified for the NAIA indoor national championships are thought to be lucky that they were able to compete in South Dakota last weekend before the suspension.
Emery, a senior who competed in the 3k race walk at the championship, now faces the reality that her performance in South Dakota may have been the last of her collegiate career. Many of the schools Goshen competes against in race walk have canceled their spring seasons and Emery worries that even if Goshen resumes its season after April 1, there might be no one for her to race against.
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t devastated,” Emery said. “(It) has been hard trying to come to terms with the fact that the thing I’ve been doing since I was 5 is suddenly over.”
Emery’s sentiment reflects the feelings of many seniors facing the possibility of their collegiate careers being cut short.
NAIA athletes are not the only ones facing a changed sports season. The NCAA officially canceled all winter championships and all spring events on Thursday. This includes the Division 1 basketball championship that was canceled mid-tournament. The NBA suspended it’s season indefinitely on Wednesday.
“Each league institution will decide the best pathway for their student-athletes during this time,” reads a statement addressing COVID-19 on the Crossroads League website.
As of right now, all schools in the conference plan to resume their athletic seasons after April 1.
In the email on Friday, the interim AD team, made up of Erica Albertine, Rustin Nyce, Justin Crew, Stephanie Miller and Gilberto Perez Jr, expressed sympathy for athletes affected by the changes.
“We are aware of the many hours of training and work you have put in,” the email read. “(We) can only imagine the disappointment, frustration and other emotions you may be feeling.”
Amidst the chaos, Alex Childers, head coach of the baseball team, offered another perspective in a tweet posted Friday night: “It’s tough while you are in the middle of it, but I hope and pray that this is the worst day in my guy’s lives. Because there are far worse things than not playing baseball... We will rise from this and be better for it!”