Like a lot of things in the world today, the Warrior football season is up in the air.
Earlier this summer, the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) decided to cancel sports though the rest of 2020.
The football season still does not have an official start date, but the plan is to start in the spring. During Welcome Week, the football team was able to conduct a player’s meeting to talk about they want to do amid the confusion.
Since then the players, coaches and staff have been unable to meet in person, and coaches are unable to speak to players about what the future holds.
The Warrior football team did attempt to practice in the off-season, but senior wide receiver, Jordan Lindgren, said that the team stopped practicing due to the COVID-19 complications.
Lindgren talked about how expensive testing is for an entire team on a regular basis, which may have played a role in different institution’s decisions, including Winona State University.
The worry of testing prices makes it hard to practice with no way of regular testing for athletes.
Football players are left in the dark about how to practice, lift weights or learn their playbook with Winona State facilities being closed.
The players have since learned to adapt together amid the certain circumstances and operate through the interesting times.
Lindgren said he has been able to practice with some teammates as they ran seven-on-seven drills.
Also, based on availability, some teammates have been meeting off campus to weight train in whatever way possible.
“We are just trying to get our work in and stay in the best shape possible,” Lindgren said. “We just want to be ready just in case things will change in the near future.”
For the players, the circumstances are not ideal because they can only have so many people together and they are emphasizing social distancing to ensure a spring 2021 season.
Lindgren said he “wishes he could put on the pads.”
Many players say they share this same sentiment.
Lindgren said players tried their best to socially distance while both on the field and sideline.
Players wore masks in compliance with the state mask mandate.
In addition to hands-on training, it also gave players the opportunity to meet some of the first year and transfer players.
Even though some players have had contact over this quarantine, other players according to Lindgren have actually decided to go back or stay home during these uncertain times.
This could potentially have a role in some incoming first year and transfer athletes’ experiences and could potentially affect the team dynamic this upcoming season.
The one possible bright side for some players is that the 2020-21 season does not affect their eligibility, which gives them the flexibility to play in future seasons, allowing them to opt in or out of this current season.
Overall, while still in the dark according to Lindgren, the team is still working hard, keeping a positive attitude and are ready to compete at any moment amid the confusion.
The opinions expressed in this paper are not necessarily those of Winona State University, the Minnesota State Colleges and University system, or the Winona State University student body.