Uncertainty for college athletes

Seniors Kristen Ford, Carlie Duus, and Mollie Plas are preparing to play sports at the collegiate level, while facing the cancellations and delays brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.


by Sophia Rall, Lifestyles Editor

Ford gets ready for her team to serve during her last STA volleyball season this past fall. Ford has volleyball training and camps still scheduled in July, though they are subject to change. photo by Claudia Benge

     Throughout the spring, high school seniors preparing for collegiate sports would normally be playing club or high school sports and working out with teammates. However, these activities have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has affected various professional sports leagues, as the NBA,  MLS, NHL and MLB have suspended their seasons. The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games have even been delayed to 2021. These suspensions and delays bring the question — what does the COVID-19 pandemic mean for future college athletes?

     Senior Kristen Ford is committed to Northwest Missouri State University to play volleyball in fall 2020. Initially, she was going to NWMSU this summer to take a summer course and train with her team. Ford’s summer course has been moved online, but there is still uncertainty about other summer training. 

     “As of right now, most of my training and camps are in July, and they are still scheduled,” Ford said. “They are not 100% sure if they are still happening.”

     Senior Carlie Duus is committed to play soccer at Grinnell College in fall 2020. Like Ford, Duus is facing uncertainty not only about the summer but also the fall semester. As of April 27, there are not any universities that have cancelled in-person classes for the fall semester, but universities have begun preparing for the possibility of virtual learning throughout the fall, according to CNN. 

     “It is still undecided because my school is waiting until May 15 — that is their deadline to decide if they are doing the fall semester so we don’t really know at this point,” Duus said. 

     Senior Macie Washington is committed to play softball at Xavier University of Louisiana, located in New Orleans. Washington is facing unique challenges because New Orleans has been considered a hotspot for COVID-19, according to the Wall Street Journal. There will be a stay at home order in New Orleans until May 15. However, Washington does not have to report for training until early August, since she plays a spring sport. Still, Washington is facing the challenges of staying in shape under quarantine.  

     “My coach sends me workouts, and I try to workout every day,” Washington said. “Even if I’m working out, it’s still better to play the game.”

     Washington would normally be playing club softball throughout the spring and summer. Her club is unsure if this will happen.

     “We’re supposed to be able to go back on May 15th, but that all depends on if the city pushes back the quarantine longer,” Washington said. 

      The stay-at-home order in Kansas City has also affected high school sports. Duus would normally be playing for the STA Varsity soccer team throughout the spring, but the season was cancelled April 9, according to Missouri State High School Athletics Association. Since the season was cancelled, she has been working out from home to prepare for the fall.

     “I have started riding my bike, and I walk my dogs and run,” Duus said. “I also do abs in my bed.”

     Senior Mollie Plas was also on the Varsity soccer team. She is committed to play soccer at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in fall 2020. Like Duus, she has adjusted to working out at home. 

     “I juggle every day,” Plas said. “ I haven’t been running as much as I should, but I run once or twice a week. There’s a soccer field by my house that me and my sister will drive up to,  and I do short sprints there.”

     Ford would normally be playing club volleyball right now, and would be preparing for Nationals in May. During quarantine, she has utilized many resources to continue training. 

     “My college actually sent me workouts to do, for summer and spring workouts,” Ford said. “I’ve just been doing those, but obviously I am restricted. I don’t have any weights or anything at my house.”

     Despite the uncertainty, Duus still hopes the fall semester will happen.

      U“I’m very worried about having to do my first semester online,” Duus said. “ I am really excited to go to Grinnell so I really hope it happens.”