The Hilbert Hawks softball team has been practicing hard with restrictions in place as they begin their spring season.
“I am excited to be able to watch their games again, because all of my roommates play and I can sort’ve live the sport through them,” said junior psychology major, Kaylea Schiedel.
Since the first team meeting in September of last year, it was apparent to players that coming back with COVID-19 still in place, the experience would be vastly different. Safety is the biggest priority, said sophomore Sydney Schiedel, who plays second base.
“It is definitely different. There are a lot of things that make it tough. Twenty five percent of the team gets tested each week. Before games, we have to have a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the game,” said Schiedel. “Plus, we had to split into two pods, so we can only have 10 people in each pod to maintain physical distance from each other,” Schiedel stated.
One thing that continues to remain a top priority this season is the importance of teamwork and treating everyone with a fair opportunity both on and off the field.
“The captains are naturally those who are making this season turn out to be a success for our team. There is naturally some tension between players fighting for a spot, but the captain’s do a good job of making sure we are all playing together and feel like a team,” said Schiedel.
Schiedel said that last season effected eligibility to play this season, as seniority for players is determined by the years that an athlete is actively playing. This caused much frustration amongst those returning players and new players, both first-time freshman and transfers.
“I’m a sophomore in the classroom, but I’m a freshman on the field because I got my year of eligibility back last year since our season was cancelled. So now there’s a lot of girls that are freshman and have never played an actual collegiate game here at Hilbert. This is where it makes it confusing and caused frustration amongst being able to get a spot this season,” said Schiedel.