With the outbreak of COVID-19, it led all of Pacific University’s athletic programs questioning the possibilities of playing or just canceling all participation for the 2020-2021 school year. At the start of the fall semester, athletic teams were still unsure of how this year would go but took advantage of the time that the university awarded them as if it was going to be their last day to play. As planned, each sports program had scheduled games for the spring semester, whether that meant for a shortened season or the regular length season. All of the sports programs at Pacific did in fact participate in some sort of competition against other schools, giving the Pacific community a sense of school pride and team spirit that the university had been missing ever since March of 2020.
Duane Keanu, member of Pacific University’s Men’s Golf Team, explained that even though their team’s season had setbacks, it was still a great experience to play in the conditions COVID-19 had set for all teams.
“It’s always fun to get back out on the course and play,” Keanu said. “Some positives on season include individual growth as well as the team overall getting better. Although COVID-19 brought more upon our lives, it was still a fun experience to be a student athlete again.”
Carter “Chappy” Chapman, First Baseman for Pacific’s baseball team, explained how this season has tested his overall skills on the baseball field and made him work even harder knowing what COVID-19 had done to their season last year.
“From my perspective, some positives this season have been the growth of my hitting power and my mindset with developing my defense,” Chapman stated. “The whole school year overall, in terms of baseball, has been very well in my opinion because of the results we have had so far and how COVID-19 had been a true test to all of our players, both physically and mentally.”
Savita Wilson, Midfielder for Pacific’s Women’s Soccer Team, preached about how the team’s development made this year meaningful and how they didn’t let COVID-19 get the best of them.
“Our season was a step in the right direction and we did all that we could with the given guidelines,” Wilson explained. “With a lot of new players added to the roster, we took advantage of our time to get to know how we play and create synergy on and off the field.”
With most sports programs at Pacific concluding their seasons, and some sports still participating and competing against other schools, it leads one to question how the next years will be in terms of athletics and how will the incoming classes adapt to college if COVID-19 is still around and still establishing protocols to the everyday lives of Pacific’s student athletes. — Todd Takeuchi
Photo: Duane Stokes at the George Fox Invitational (Kip Yoshimura)