Sports at Millsaps are finally back for competition this semester! Excitement can be felt throughout campus as athletes from every corner of Millsaps walk to practice with their gear slung over their backs. Some sports like basketball and swimming have already kicked their seasons off, while others are waiting to get back into the swing of things. It is looking like the north side of campus, where the athletic facilities are located, is going to be booming with activity come February and March.
Basketball was one of the first sports at Millsaps to resume competition. The women’s basketball team, coached by Justin LeBlanc, is off to a hot start. Defeating Ross State University and sweeping both Hendrix and Berry puts them at 5-0 to start the year off. Sophomore player Devan Caldwell, was interviewed before the season started and said, “We’re all just excited to play honestly… and we’re hoping for the one seed in the conference tournament.” So far, Devan’s hope for the one seed is looking good. The team has an impressive four players averaging over nine points a game, and there is no sign of slowing down.
Mens’ basketball has not had the hot streak the women’s team has. Although they started off by knocking off Hendrix the first game of the season, Hendrix beat the Majors the next day in a tight contest. The next weekend, Berry traveled to Jackson to take on Millsaps, and swept the Majors in a two-game series. The team will hope for better luck in the coming games.
Swimming, being the newest sport at Millsaps, came back early from winter break to begin practice. Starting January 4th, the water-borne majors have set 17 school records in two meets, showing that their program is improving rapidly. Swimming expects to have 5 conference meets, and a conference tournament this season.
Millsaps’ Baseball team’s first game is not scheduled until February 12th against North Park University, at Millsaps’ own Twenty Field. Baseball hopes to have a turnaround from last year when they went 7-11. According to Freshman, Chambers McGilberry, “The team atmosphere is phenomenal… we have a few team leaders that are going to push us harder every day.” The Majors community hopes the team atmosphere and grit of the team can carry them to a conference title!
The Majors Football team only has four games scheduled this season. The first two games will kick off from home at Harper Davis Field against Hendrix, on February 6th, and Trinity, on February 13th. In the 2019 season, Millsaps’ Football posted a 5-5 record. Although they started off 3-0, the latter part of the season proved to be tough. With only four scheduled games this season, the football team will have to have a similar start to the 2019 season in order to post a winning record.
Soccer has one of the later first game dates, taking on Rhodes the weekend of March 13th at Harper Davis Field. Although they don’t begin matches until March, both teams are looking to start official practice around February 17th. The last time soccer was able to play a season, the men’s team started off at a nice 3-0, only to fall to 7-10. According to player Sergey Kolesnik, this season may be different. He simply states, “We’re a young team that is ready to compete.”
Women’s soccer struggled all last season, finishing out at 3-13. With only in-conference play for the 2021 season, both teams are hoping to start off strong.
Tennis is getting back into the swing of things with captains’ practices having started January 26th, and official practice beginning in late February. Tennis is also only limited to in conference play. Their season begins March 6th with home matches for both the women and mens’ teams. The top four teams from the conference will get to compete in the SAA Championship tournament. Both tennis teams desire to have similar results to their last seasons. Each team finished over a .500 record, with the women’s team posting a 5-4 record and the men at 6-3.
Other Millsaps’ sports including cross country, track, golf, and volleyball will also be competing this semester, making this the most bizarre sports season ever. Only Millsaps’ students will be able to attend home games, matches, and meets because of the SAA’s new fan policy. Even with the limited number of fans in the stands, athletes around campus are only glad to finally be able to compete again.