The pandemic’s second wind canceled spring sports

Landscape+photo+of+San+Diego+Mesa%27s+Stadium.+The+arena+has+not+been+as+widely+used+as+it+was+before+the+pandemic.

Mesa Office of Communications

Landscape photo of San Diego Mesa’s Stadium. The arena has not been as widely used as it was before the pandemic.

Kyle Ayson, Staff Writer

With the pandemic still at large, The San Diego Mesa College Athletics Department has opted out for the first half of the spring season, halting plans and schedules and prioritizing the student’s and staff”s health and safety. The wait still continues for the other half of the spring season.

Before the season started, the school planned out a spring one and two period. To put it in simple context, spring one is fall and winter sports like Wrestling, Football, and Basketball. While spring two is the traditional spring sports with Track and Field, Baseball, and Badminton. They broke the semester in half to allow spring one to compete and train on campus with the other half being spring two. The spring one period would’ve started around January and ended in April. For the spring two period, they would start around March and end in June. However, these plans aren’t finalized because the school is still monitoring the pandemic and have to adapt and change the plans. And with the recent cases of COVID-19, the school had to cancel the spring one sports and all other related plans.

Athletic Director Ryan Shumaker shared his input on the recent news. “It is extremely unfortunate that our traditional fall and winter student-athletes are not able to compete during the spring one time period. Our student-athletes work very hard in the classroom and on the field of competition and look forward to showcasing their talent in hopes of earning scholarships at the next level. Although this news is not what we had hoped for, Mesa College continues to support our student-athletes and we will be walking through this journey with them, keeping their safety and current and future goals at the forefront of our decision making.”

Men’s Basketball Head Coach Travis Nichols said, “I was immediately disappointed for my players because I know they really wanted to play this season. I also understand the decision (due to the virus) because we want to keep not just our players and staff safe but their families and our families safe.” This came as a result of basketball being a part of the first half of the spring sports.

With spring one unfortunately at a halt, there’s still a spring two. Shumaker mentioned, “As with many aspects of the pandemic, it is still unclear how long this will last. Our spring two sports are still viable at this time and a decision on those sports will be made before the end of February.”

“In terms of transfer, the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA, our governing body) is in constant communication with the NCAA and NAIA (the governing body of the four-year colleges and universities) regarding the transfer guidelines and legislation surrounding some eligibility relief at the next level,” said Shumaker.

Although the situation is grim and the future is still unknown for what lies ahead, Shumaker noted “I am proud to say that, despite the unfortunate reality of no spring one season that we are facing, the Mesa College administration has not faltered in their ongoing support of our student-athletes, coaches, and athletics program.”

“Additionally, our athletic program and all of the support services surrounding our student-athletes will continue to seek opportunities for our student-athletes to compete at the next level. Although some planning may need to shift in response to the changing tides of the pandemic, we are well positioned to continue serving our students and to help them earn scholarships,” added Shumaker.

For what it may be, San Diego Mesa Athletics has not backed down from the pandemic’s grueling waves and still fights on with an unwavering tenacity to support student-athletes.