Hitting Close to Home: Where did the Piedmont Sports Go?

Photo+by+Dan+Burton+on+Unsplash

Photo by Dan Burton on Unsplash

Written by Will Sargent, Staff Writer

There’s a saying that goes, “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone,” which perfectly sums up how life is going for most Americans right now, regarding the disappearance of sports because of COVID-19. Senior athletes are having their seasons cut short and many teams, both college and professional, are no longer allowed to participate in team activities; all sports are canceled for the unforeseeable future. Piedmont College has been greatly affected by this pandemic, along with a multitude of other schools. 

Piedmont College’s women’s lacrosse head coach, Kirsten Smith, had much to say about adjusting to the current circumstances. “I think the biggest challenge is still just accepting that it’s over and we won’t get it back. Going into the year expecting to play a full season, all of the hard work and dedication that has been put on during the offseason to have it abruptly ended is something that nobody saw coming,” Smith said. “We were finally catching our momentum, and then the rug just got ripped out from under us. We will never know how the rest of the season would’ve gone.” 

Having a season, let alone the entirety of sports, abruptly end due to an unforeseen crisis is something that we have not experienced in recent history. 

“Once I heard the news that the season had been canceled, I was speechless, and then I had to figure out how to communicate the news with our student-athletes,” Smith said. “Trying to communicate the news to our seniors was honestly one of the hardest things I think I’ve had to do as a coach.” 

Piedmont College Athletic Director Jim Peeples stood in support of both the students and coaches to overcome this emotional challenge. “I think the immediate biggest challenge was the coaches helping, especially the spring sports student-athletes, to navigate emotionally what it was like to have their season abruptly end like that,” Peeples said. “I think the coaches helping out those seniors, as this was their last go-around, was the first order of business. We wanted to help them navigate those emotions that they were feeling.” 

The student-athletes that participate in spring sports at Piedmont College have all had their season interrupted. As this unfortunate pandemic will undoubtedly go down in history, the athletic department of Piedmont College was put to the test of how to handle such a situation.  The athletic department has demonstrated the all-hands-on-deck mentality in order to help student-athletes in this transition, regaining normalcy in the midst of the chaos pandemic. 

“We just had to keep doing the work that we would normally be doing, adjusting to the circumstances, and controlling what we can control,” Peeples said. 

The COVID-19 pandemic is a phenomenon that has changed the course of athletics, as well as everyday life for many, and the community of Piedmont College will remain strong together to fight this.