Mesa Office of Communications
The second half of the spring season has arrived for San Diego Mesa College, but with a decision that passed, The Mesa Athletics Department has chosen to opt-out for spring “two” sports, meaning cancelling all competitions for the season.
For contextual purposes, spring “one” consisted of sports from the fall and winter season like Basketball, Football and Wrestling. Spring “two” is the traditional spring sports of Baseball, Track and Field, and Badminton. Spring “one” would have started in January and ended in April. For spring “two”, the timeline would have been March until June. The school planned out the spring “one” and “two” period to allow the sports to compete. Sadly enough, both periods were cancelled due to the pandemic.
Ryan Shumaker, Mesa’s Athletic Director, explained the reason why the decision was made. “The safety and well-being of our student-athletes is always at the forefront of our decision-making, especially during this pandemic. When looking at all of the variables that would be introduced by competition, such as travel and the intermingling of student-athletes from various institutions, the District chose to opt-out.”
The cancellation is unfortunate, however, the department has not given up and neither have the student-athletes. “Now that the opt-out decision has been made, our focus is getting our student-athletes back onto campus for conditioning sessions. The planning process for the return to campus has been in process for months,” Shumaker said.
Shumaker included that their return-to-campus group is “an absolute “dream team” of professionals, such as Tim Fischer, Anastasia Doan, Tomoko Ohkubo-Kuo from athletic training, as well as Matt Fay and Jacqueline Collins from campus safety and facilities.” From their hard work and dedication, it cultivated into “a plan that will allow for a safe return to campus in the coming months, should the opportunity present itself.”
With spring out of the picture, the plans for fall and winter season are in the works. Although the date hasn’t been set, “There will be a deadline to submit the paperwork to the CCCAA (California Community College Athletic Association),” said Shumaker.
The student-athletes are still working hard within the classroom in preparation for their academic journey and as well as training remotely to enhance their athletic abilities. “Their tenacity and grit in the face of adversity are to be commended,” Shumaker added.
A sophomore from cross-country and long distance, Yahaira Zuniga, offers some of her words to the “We all were expecting to compete this spring but it was canceled and we can’t do anything about it. More than just keep training and having our mind as positive as we can. It was canceled because of our safety and the number one is being healthy. I hope that we all can go to campus and have practice all together as a team.”
Shumaker also made some remarks to the coaches since they “have stepped up and answered the call of serving their students in this new environment. The adaptability and flexibility they have shown during the ever-changing constraints of the pandemic has been impressive.”
San Diego Mesa Athletics are determined to bring back their sports and allow student-athletes to compete. It may not be today, but the day will come and the school will be prepared when the chance is present.