By Michaela Oberholzer
Most people remember exactly where they were when the world was shut down. Somehow, slowly, yet all at once, our lives were changed in fundamental ways. COVID-19 has affected every aspect of our lives and has somehow even managed to seep into the world of sports. Wilson College athletics were stopped at the beginning of the spring season of 2020 and have not been taking place since then. However, that changed with the announcement on Feb. 8 2021 from the Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) that stated institutions could restart their sports program as of the 2021 spring season. This news is incredibly exciting for our Wilson athletes as they have been waiting to play, but it is also exciting for Wilson College’s department of athletics.
Wilson College’s Director of Athletics, Tina Hill, has hope for the upcoming season. Hill explained the process of determining how sports were going to be implemented again while still following all restrictions.
Said Hill, “We agreed to go with the most restrictive [guidelines] which happens to be Pennsylvania[‘s].” This means that Wilson athletes must follow Pennsylvania regulations even when traveling to games that are in less restrictive states. They must wear a mask and distance where possible and get routine COVID testing. While this may seem excessive to some, Hill expressed, “I try to honor people’s differences of opinions and yet I’m really concerned about making sure I protect our students.”
Even though the start of the spring sports season is exciting, it does not come without concerns.
Hill admitted, “If our students are being honest it has not been easy.” The added concerns with health and the abundance of restrictions adds stress to student athletes’ lives. This extra stress renders concerns for student athletes’ mental health, since the restrictions in addition to performance pressure are, “a lot of burden for students to carry,” according to Hill.
So how can Wilson’s campus better support and cheer on our student athletes? During a normal season, the easiest way to support athletes is to attend games, but with current restrictions that may not be an option. Instead of attending sporting events, spectators can watch live at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/wilson/. This includes all Wilson sports. Interacting with the teams’ social media accounts is another way to support the Phoenixes. This season will look different for all of everyone, fans included, and finding ways to support student athletes is even more important as they prepare for the challenging season ahead.
Hill is proud of Wilson students and commends their resiliency. She feels that the surrounding community, “May be pleasantly surprised of how resilient we actually are, and the world didn’t stop, and we were able to persevere.” While this season will look different than any preceding seasons, it is exciting that the Wilson Phoenixes will be back on the field.