COVID Athletics Precautions - Photo by Bekah Martin

Men's soccer is one of several sports at BGSU with its seasonal practices impacted by COVID-19.

The Big Ten will kick off the football season on Oct. 24 after all sports were temporarily postponed for months due to COVID-19. As leagues around the nation follow suit, BGSU athletes continue to train with precautions for now.

Danielle Austinson, a senior on the women’s golf team, said precautions are happening both on and off the course.

“Essentially, each coach for every team can come up with their own team rules regarding precautions, but my coach does not want us to make any contact with anyone outside of my team,” Austinson said. “We aren’t allowed to leave the city of Bowling Green while we are technically in season.”

Austinson said the coach understands these changes can be hard on their mental health. 

“To deal with lack of socializing outside of the team, my coach has incorporated mental health talks into practice each week to make sure everyone is doing alright,” she said.

The BGSU basketball team is also facing struggles due to specific protocols put in place, Dylan Swingle, a sophomore basketball player said.  

“The protocols have been a struggle, and it is hard not being able to socialize with friends outside of the team,” he said.

Basketball players have specific practice slots for when they can go into the Stroh. Players must wear a mask when entering the facility, submit to a temperature check and report any symptoms.   

“In the weight room, all the racks are six feet apart,” Swingle said. “We can’t use the locker room, so we use the media room as a changing room. We can’t use the drinking fountain and at the field house we have to get checked in again.”

Sophomore baseball player, Daniel Bradley, said the precautions have affected the team socially, but players are making it work.

“Socially it’s harder and different than last year because we are not allowed to hang out with outside friends or even other teams,” he said.  “The team has adapted to the precautions of wearing masks in the weight room and in team huddles because we know it is what we have to do if we want to play.”

Senior defender Erik Horvath said the men’s soccer team also must follow rules that restrict contact with others off the field.

“We are in a ‘bubble’ and have to be conscious about who we are around at all times,” he said. “We are not to socialize with anybody outside of the team.”

He added, “Most changes are not hard for me. I understand that this is what we have to do. As a team, we just deal with it. Without these changes we wouldn’t have the opportunity to play at all.”

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