The suspension of competition for fall sports announced in mid-July, although discouraging, was a message I and many other student-athletes unfortunately anticipated. Although this news primarily affects student-athletes, the student body and the entire Millsaps community are also impacted. Students will no longer be able to enjoy tailgating for a football game on Saturday or walking to the HAC with friends to watch a volleyball game.
While competition itself may be canceled, teams will still have the opportunity to hold practice. As a student-athlete, myself, playing on the tennis team has provided me amazing bonds with my teammates. Tough practices and workouts have strengthened the relationships we have with one another; there is nothing like a group of people struggling to achieve the same goal. Similarly, a fun energetic practice is a time where we grow closer by laughing and enjoying one another’s company. For me, I believe the opportunity to continue bonding through practice is still something to look forward to.
However, some athletes may feel as if the practice is meaningless without competition like what is the point in studying for a test that there won’t be a grade for? The way I am looking at it is the strongest athletes and teams will be made during this time of adversity. My father always used to say to me, “champions overcome adversity!” Student-athletes and coaches will have to remain hopeful and confident that sports can resume this spring and continue working their best! It will be important more than ever for athletes and coaches to support each other, listen to one another, and remember that not all is lost.
Aaron Pelch, Millsaps’ athletic director, wrote in his announcement to the Millsaps community:
“I am also happy that your academic career will be able to resume or, for some, begin with great promise. Despite this temporary setback, you chose Millsaps not only to continue your participation in varsity athletics but ultimately to continue your academic pursuits, community service, and leadership development”.
This statement has nothing but the truth to it! Millsaps is fortunate to be able to come back to campus this August. We are student-athletes, not athlete-students.
There is still much to look forward to this semester for athletes and non-athletes alike. I am confident that the entire Millsaps student body will make the most of and seize the opportunities presented during these uncertain times. Although this semester will look different than anything we have seen before, I am excited to make the most of it. Go, Majors!