As the school year progresses, both the Pacific’s Men’s and Women’s basketball teams, as well as the Pacific football team, have been able to schedule numerous games after enduring a long off-season due to COVID-19. It has been a long time coming, but all three programs look ready to rock and roll for their first games coming up at the end of the month.
Keith Buckley, Athletic Director at Pacific University, is excited to see what this shortened season will end up being. He sees this only as an opportunity to showcase the student athletes of their perseverance through these hard times.
“After all we have been through over the last year along with the hurdles we faced in getting approved for high contact sports to move forward, I am simply thrilled that these student-athletes are going to get a chance to compete” Buckley stated. “The competitions we get this spring will have a positive impact when we return to Northwest Conference play next year. We get the chance to build team culture and a foundation for the future.”
Head Coach for the Pacific Men’s basketball team, Justin Lunt, said, “Is this season going to be something we are accustomed to? No, but at least it’s something.” “Our seniors and all of our guys can look back at this season and say that at least we had something.”
Alecia Wilson, head coach for Pacific Women’s basketball team, is proud of what Pacific athletics have overcome with all COVID-19 has brought to the university.
“My team has done an awesome job following guidelines and wearing their masks” Wilson said. “It is great to get back on the court and have full contact but with the protocols in place we also feel safe and have secure plans in place if covid does arise.”
On the football side, Head Coach Ian Falconer has explained that being able to play sports this semester has given the university an uplift. Falconer said, “ It’s a great opportunity to finish a tough year on a positive note.” “People have been missing the connection piece of athletics and that in my mind is the most important part! Being part of something bigger than yourself and working together towards a greater common goal.”
Hopefully all goes well for the rest of the semester, and the COVID-19 risk factor for Washington County stays at the Moderate level. With COVID-19, no one knows the definite rise and fall in the amount of people affected by it. This is something that people have to take on step by step in order to reduce its effectiveness to a point where society could possibly go back to normality, with no mask and no social distancing. — Todd Takeuchi
Photo: Pacific will hold their first basketball game for the first time since February 27, 2020. (Julien Dagan)