Written for The Argo by Salena LeDonne
Given the ongoing nature of this pandemic, the future of Stockton Athletics is fickle. By now, anyone following along knows not to get their hopes up, as getting sports back to “normal” is a day-by-day operation. That said, the athletic administration is working tirelessly to guide student-athletes and fans through this uncertain stretch.
Stockton Athletics remains optimistic about getting competition off the ground at the start of 2021. At the same time, adhering to guidelines and remaining diligent in preventing the spread of coronavirus is the utmost priority.
“As we stand right now, we are planning to try and have competitive opportunities once we get back [from winter break]. That means first trying to get the winter sports going–if we can–and then following it up with hopefully a competitive opportunity for the fall sports, and then the spring sports after that,” said Stockton Athletic Director, Kevin McHugh.
A projected schedule of what that would look like within the conference is set-up, but a linear plan on how to achieve it is simply not possible.
There are still a myriad of hurdles to jump, for instance, figuring out what must be done from a testing standpoint. In the Fall, student-athletes underwent mandatory baseline COVID-19 testing, which is expected to be the starting point again in the Spring if funding is available. This may look different for each sport depending on the sport’s risk-level determined by the NCAA. For example, indoor sports will likely have different protocols than outdoor sports.
It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for COVID to nullify yet another set of well-thought-out plans. Consequently, despite relentless efforts by administrators, the destiny of Stockton Athletics in Spring 2021 is ultimately still controlled by the virus.