Sat. Jan 16th, 2021

The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Senior season stripped from athletes due to COVID-19

4 min read
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On March 12, NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors canceled all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships as a result of the COVID-19 threat. (

By: Brady Stockard
Staff Writer

In an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus, students were asked to leave campus for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester and classes have moved online. On March 12, NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors cancelled all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships as a result of the COVID-19 threat.

For some, this might not be a huge deal, but for the seniors and all of the athletes participating in the NCAA, it is. Senior athletes all over have suddenly lost the opportunity to complete their senior year, have a senior night, and celebrate their senior season with their team. The situation is especially heartbreaking considering the cause of the cancellation, due to it being completely out of their control.

Senior cross country and track athlete Hannah Huggins said, “It definitely sucks missing the end of my senior year, but it is out of my control. I have just been trying to keep things in perspective. For example, I am glad that I at least got the opportunity to compete in track and cross country even though outdoor is my favorite season.”

She continued, “Further, student-athletes, students and people all over the country have had their lives turned upside down. We are not alone in this. I am really grateful for the time I did get at Mary Wash.”

Austin Matz is a senior on the men’s golf team. “It seems surreal to me and like the situation really hasn’t hit me. I think this group of guys was on track to have another successful season and it’s disappointing this is how our college golf careers will end,” he said. “This senior class has been through a lot including having a new coach each year. It was difficult dealing with the lack of stability, but we all found a way to overcome the adversity and control what we could. At the end of the day, my teammates always had my back and I think a lot of guys on this team would agree. I’m grateful to have been part of this team that set the bar high for the next classes and to have made friends for life.”

Elizabeth Goernemann, a member of the women’s lacrosse team, described the moment when she heard the news. “When we first heard that our season was suspended/cancelled on Wednesday night we were devastated. We were frustrated that we had worked so hard all for it to be taken away without our control. We didn’t know this was when it was going to end, and that it was going to end so abruptly. We were really hurting in those first few hours and days, but like anything that lacrosse has put us through, we knew we would get through it.”

Goernemann relies on lessons from her time on the team to get her through. “Endurance and perseverance are two things we are very familiar with, so we knew that this, as painful as it was, was still going to be a great teaching lesson,” she said. “Saying goodbye is never easy and we knew that the most important message to take from this situation is to not take anything for granted and to be grateful for the opportunity to even have 3.75 years. This may be our goodbye to our sport, but nothing could break the bond we have with our teammates, our coaches and everyone who has supported us over the years.”

Nathaniel Holic is a senior on the men’s lacrosse team. “Obviously, I am very upset that I and my peers of seniors lost our final season. It feels as though it was taken from us while everyone before us played the last game knowing that it could be their last game, the thought wasn’t even in the back of our mind when we played Catholic,” said Holic.

While mourning the loss of the season, Holic believes preventing the loss of lives is more important. “As a senior class, we had a lot of team goals as well as individual goals that we felt we didn’t get the opportunity to complete. Although it is such an upsetting time, if doing this saves lives it is absolutely worth it. Knowing that it may save one of my grandparents or one of my peer’s grandparents makes the loss worth it.”

Overall, seniors were both saddened by the inability to compete during their senior year and appreciative of the opportunity to play for Mary Wash.

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