Five months since things got shut off. Like flipping a light switch into the off position.
For the first couple months my efforts were on finishing out the 2019-20 school year. Interviews with seniors from all over the country, finishing out their academic careers in ways they never imagined.
Throwback photos to fill the void of no games; season wraps done in different format.
Then summer came, time to wrap up the year, file away results, post-season honors and rosters, season and individual stats.
Knock out some long-range projects that had been on the shelf for a while. Someday……was now, as in, “someday when I have time, I’ll do this.”
I intentionally didn’t write anything here. Wasn’t always in the frame of mind to do it and I don’t think anyone wanted to see on paper where my mind was going some days.
All the while I tempered my optimism for the fall season. Honestly, I didn’t want to get my hopes up.
Yes, I kept working as if the fall seasons would happen, but, there was that little voice in the back of my head that said, “doubtful.”
But here we are, and boy am I glad we are.
Students have begun arriving on campus for practice beginning on August 15.
I actually hear weights clanging in the weight room, I see young people who are genuinely happy to be back together. Remember, many said “ See you after Spring Break,” back in mid-March, only to go home and never come back to campus.
About 150 days of working out and staying in shape for a season that might, or, might not happened.
150 days of looking forward to the academic year. Of seeing friends. Of going to class. Of seeing each other on campus.
It’s a really good thing.
How’s it going to feel when we welcome freshmen and transfers to campus next week?
Not sure, probably a little strange.
But it will be good.
Here’s to looking forward to the coming year. To the opportunities before us and the hard work it’s going to take to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
But we will. We’ll put one foot in front of the other and we’ll do everything we can to have a fall athletic season and semester.
I’m closing in on my 19 year anniversary at this place (August 16, 2001). Where did that time go?
I’ve never experienced anything like the last 154 days. My 27 year working career has been centered on high school and college athletics and I can safely say I’ve never looked forward to a fall more than this one.
Will there be bumps?
I’d be foolish to think no.
Will it be hard work?
The thought of spring championships for fall sports is a daunting one….I’ve gotten used to getting 8-9 hours of sleep a night….this year may be different, but, I’ll welcome the challenge if we have a few championships interspersed with track, baseball, softball, men’s volleyball and golf.
Will things look different?
Well, let me tell you about masks and social distancing…yes, it will look different.
Will we need to roll with it?
If I’ve learned anything over the last five months it is this….things can change and things will change. Deal with it.
I’m ready to watch as student-athletes are trained in the Great Commision.
I’m ready to see student-leaders developed.
I’m ready to see student-athletes develop their academic skills and take the next step.
I’m ready to watch the pursuit of championships even though that may look a little different this year.
I hope Defender Nation is too.