Sports Practices Resume at BVU


Austin West, Benjamin Turman III

It’s that time of year when the leaves change colors, the temperature begins to drop, and all sorts of college sports are enjoyed by fans across the country.

In 2020, however, that is not the case as the COVID-19 pandemic shut down almost all Division III athletic sporting events happening in the fall season. All contact sports including soccer, football, and cross country had their respective events canceled and were only given times to practice throughout the fall. Sadly, all good things come to an end as Buena Vista had to shut down all sports practices on campus due to positive cases of COVID-19 increasing exponentially.

Thankfully, bad times also come to an end, as sports practices have started back up on campus for sports with teams able to practice in the J. Leslie Rollins Stadium, Sieben’s Fieldhouse, and the Storm Lake baseball and softball fields. The athletes and coaches could not be any happier to be back to practice and being with their teammates.

“I like the fact that practices are back. We can be together, we can be a team, we can utilize each other in practice, work hard together. Just build the culture a little easier as opposed to being in pods,” said Colt Slack, track and field coach at BVU. “As far as competition being back, since we’re gonna train we might as well be able to have competitions. So, obviously it’s going to look different. Not gonna have huge meets. But, getting competition while training is ultimately the end goal so hopefully, we can make that happen,” Slack adds.

“It’s nice to back. It’s a good opportunity to be working on the fundamentals and be with the team. I am proud to be a part of the team that is going through the adversity that we are facing,” says senior football player Mason Wickett.

The Head football coach, Grant Mollring, is also excited to be back to practice. “It’s refreshing. I think this fall has gone really well for us in terms of developing mentally, getting on the field, and getting things done. We’re excited to be out here,” said Mollring.

To make things even better, this fall the American Rivers Conference had announced on Monday, September 28, 2020, that volleyball, football, and men’s and women’s soccer would be getting their spring schedules. The A-R-C ruled in favor of having three conference games for football and eight conference games for each of the other three athletic teams. It was also announced that all winter sports contests would be moved back until after New Year’s holiday, which is six weeks later than normal.

“We’re continuing to work on scheduling and logistics….we’re excited to get something on the calendar so hopefully we can get something done here before November 20th, before everyone leaves campus. I want our guys to have that opportunity to play,” said Mollring.

Mason Wickett was thrilled by the opportunity to play, saying, “I consider it a second chance, because we thought we would not get any games at all but now we still get to play.”

However, the cross country got their competitions back even earlier, as they had their first meet on Saturday, September 26 at home with Central and Luther College. Their second competition just came around last weekend, Saturday, October 10th, hosted at the University of Dubuque where they placed third as an overall team.

Despite the challenges COVID-19 brings to beaver athletics, teams have been able to move forward; Staying safe, and being able to compete and beat the competition. Safety precautions are always being taken as beavers look forward to athletic events in the spring.