Athletes wait for a highly anticipated sports season

Sydney Krueger

Augustana College sent out tighter COVID-19 restrictions on Friday, Nov. 6 as the college changed it’s COVID-19 alert level from level two to level three. The new guidelines entail that all varsity, club and intramural sports, as well as lifting, have been suspended until at least Nov. 15 when the situation will be reevaluated. 
The new rules also state that no non-academic gatherings can exceed 60 minutes, nor can they exceed 25 people. This leaves many questions and uncertainties open as the winter sports season approaches.
Nate Ortiz, a sophomore on the men’s basketball team, discussed how the team had been practicing until the new restrictions were set.
 “In the beginning, it was formatted so that we were in two pods, the freshmen and the returners. We wore masks and social distanced when possible. Up until recently we had been doing pretty good COVID wise,” Ortiz said.
As the new guidelines have come into play, winter sport athletes are feeling very unsure about their competition season.
Nick Phillips, a freshman on the men’s swim and dive team, shared his thoughts on the upcoming conference season.  
“As of right now, the CCIW has approved our conference, but we are currently waiting on Augustana to approve it. In order to compete when we come back from J-Term, teams would have to be tested two to three times a week, which could obviously get very expensive,” Phillips said.
The CCIW has yet to release a start date for winter sport competitions, however, they have not brought up the complete cancellation of these seasons.
Despite not having an official start date, the men’s basketball team plans to return to campus on Dec. 28 in preparation for their pending season, according to freshman point guard Brett David.
Meghan Deyoung, a sophomore on the women’s bowling team, explained what her and her team are doing as of now with the new COVID-19 guidelines. 
“We are holding off on practices as of now, although the new 25 people guideline will not impact us. Our coach wants us to take a small break just to be safe. We just want everyone to be safe and healthy, and that is the priority as of now.” Deyoung said.
Augustana’s top priority is ensuring everyone’s safety. With that being said, all coaches and leaders are pushing to hopefully have a season, but in the safest way possible.
With contributions from Ameliese Baehr-Ross