West Liberty University athletics are thriving despite setbacks from COVID

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WLU Media Relations

With the ongoing difficulties resulting from COVID-19 athletes have been facing across the nation, the West Liberty University Trumpet sat down with three student athletes and asked each of them to discuss what setbacks and expectations their teams have been facing. The interviews from these athletes include: Dylan Golden, a member of the West Liberty Track and Field team, Christian Braithwaite, a member of the West Liberty Track and Field team, and Drew Theiss, a member of the West Liberty Men’s Soccer team.
When asked what major setbacks their teams have faced during practices and training in regards to COVID-19, Golden states that, “one setback for the team as a whole has been the inability to practice in the weight room, as we have been required to do that on our own time now to stay in the proper shape” Golden continued, stating that, “I suppose you could say another tiny setback at practices and workouts is that you must wear a mask, but that does not stop us from getting things done.”
Theiss commented on how the Men’s Soccer team has been affected, stating, “the biggest setback our team has faced is not having a true fall season, as everything has been pushed to the spring season. We also have to follow struck guidelines due to COVID-19, but I wouldn’t consider that a major setback, as we have a great group of guys and a great staff to help us go about these types of situations the best way possible.”
When asked how the expectations of coaches have been during the offseason, and whether they have changed, become harder, or have become easier, Golden said, “During this offseason, our coaches have wanted us to remain positive about this school year. By now everyone realizes that this pandemic can be stressful for the students, but our expectations of our coaches in particular have been straightforward: do not let this pandemic stop us from reaching our full potential.”
In regards to the Men’s Soccer team, Theiss says that, “Our coaches still hold us to the same level as if we were in a normal season. Things have mainly stayed the same, but they have become harder in a way as well, being the restrictions on us in order for us to be able to play. Yes, they aren’t the most fun, but we are still able to play. When you get past that obstacle, it’s all worth it, as we still go out and train and play as we love to do!”
When asked about how the atmosphere of their team this season, Braithwaite had positive comments to make. “We are a lot closer as a team this year compared to last year. With all of the COVID restrictions that has taken place, it makes it hard to spend time with each other outside of practices, which in turn has given our team an appreciation for our bond we share when we are together,” he said.
Golden also had remarks to share, stating that, “the atmosphere on campus as a whole has been significantly different from last year, I think everyone can agree on that. As for our team, we are making an extra effort to be there for one another. At the end of the day, I am very grateful for the opportunity I get to see my teammates and practice with them.”
Speaking on behalf of the Men’s Soccer team, Theiss states that, “the atmosphere with a sports team constantly changes depending on what’s going on. Our coaches have been doing a great job in keeping things fun, all while keeping our minds and bodies locked in, and it has really helped us come together. We have a strong foundation, and we are building onto that every single day, helping us become a better team and family!”
Regardless of the current struggles that these athletes are facing, they are still as positive as ever. Although the sporting events for the fall semester have been postponed until the spring, these athletes are viewing these setbacks as best as they possibly can.
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