Fall sports practice season ends early


Summer Cox

Baseball outfielder Dylan Dilts says he would prefer to continue to practice on campus but supports the decision to send the athletes home.  

Johannes Haasbroek, Editor-in-Chief

AACC’s fall sports practice season will end early—on Dec. 3 instead of on Dec. 14 as planned. 

“Obviously, with the coronavirus cases continuing to increase and remain at a high level, we … just wanted to make sure that following the [Thanksgiving] holidays and in preparation for the upcoming holiday  we were taking precautions,”  Athletic Director Duane Herr said. 

Herr said the weather and upcoming final exams also factored into the college’s decision to cut the season short.  

“Most of our teams were going to wrap up this weekend anyway or at least next week,” he explained.  “We wanted to give our student athletes the opportunity to prepare themselves for finals and have all the free time they needed to do that outside of athletics.” 

Plus, he said: “The weather is starting to turn on us a little bit so it’s cold outside. It’s not the most conducive for practice currently.” 

Athletes had returned to outdoor fields for training in early November after an eight-month moratorium on games and practices. AACC, like all of Maryland’s community colleges, cut its spring season short and canceled all fall games as a precaution against coronavirus. 

Some coaches said they anticipated the on-campus practices would end early. 

“We kind of suspected … when we saw … the [COVID-19] case levels rising around [us, ] … that our days [on campus] were going to be numbered,” Men’s Cross-Country coach Keith Bigelow said. “It’s a shame for the student athletes that we have to end a little bit early but it’s not that early. We got a decent … couple of weeks in and we had some really good workouts. 

Bigelow said he might meet virtually with student runners during the winter break. 

 “It would really depend on us getting the green light to resume [sports] in the in the spring,” he explained. “But if we did, I would definitely plan an interest meeting to see how many people would like to come out.” 

Some student athletes said they are in favor of the early end to practices. 

Baseball outfielder Dylan Dilts said he would prefer to continue to practice on campus but supports the decision to send the athletes home.  

“If this means that we can have a better chance of getting out there in the spring, we’ll happily do it,” Dilts, a second-year sports sciences student, said. 

Men’s soccer goalie Brenden LeMaster agreed. 

“We all have finals [exams],” LeMaster, a second-year secondary education and Spanish student, said. “And all of us have a ton of schoolwork at the end of the semester. So, in that aspect, it’s good that we have that extra time to prepare and focus on our grades.”