Despite the unusual circumstances in college sports during a pandemic, Wolf Pack basketball and soccer players claim they have adjusted and adjusted quite well.
Games have been canceled across the country, sometimes without much notice. Players had to quarantine for 14 days; Practices must be limited in number of people; and fans are not allowed at home games in Nevada.
The Nevada women’s basketball team’s season opener was canceled last week due to COVID contact tracing and was then able to play on Saturday.
Steve Alford, the Nevada men’s basketball coach who played basketball in Indiana, said he couldn’t imagine being a college athlete today and dealing with the many distractions.
Players are tested for COVID three times a week. Alford said the players seem okay with this on the surface but said they need to wonder if everyone is negative and can play every night, both for themselves and for the opposing teams.
« These are not normal times, » said Alford. « It seems like every time you pick up your phone, a game is postponed or canceled. So, as a player, I can’t imagine how frustrating it is and I think our young people handle it very well. ”
Nevada players came to campus for conditioning in late June. Second-year Wolf Pack Zane Meeks said he didn’t go out last summer and instead used the time at home all summer and fall to get in shape.
« During the quarantine period, I was able to change my physical training a lot more, » said Meeks, adding that it’s nice to finally play games that count. “It just feels good to be out here. I wish we had 11. 000 (fans) out here, but we have to take what we can get and hopefully the fans will be back soon. ”
The basketball team trained at the Lawlor Events Center so players could get used to playing there with no fans around.
Meeks said the wolf pack players have accepted that COVID is part of their lives for at least this season.
« We kind of got used to it, » said Meeks. « You can’t make excuses for it. It will be here for a while. It will surely be here for this season. Everyone has to do with it. Everyone has this 14-day hammer over their heads. ”
The Wolf Pack soccer team has 20 seniors. The NCAA granted all seniors an extra year of eligibility, but coach Jay Norvell wasn’t sure how many of his players would take advantage of this, and said many of the seniors are ready to get on with their lives.
You will be honored with Seniors’ Night Against the State of Fresno on Saturday night (7:30 pm). m. ) at Mackay Stadium.
Fresno State had its last two games canceled due to the pandemic, but Norvell said he expected the Bulldogs to play this week.
« I’ve trained for three decades and never seen a situation like this where your seniors have the opportunity to repeat their senior year, » said Norvell. « We’ll sit down with everyone and talk about their plans. ”
Nevada and Hawaii are the only two teams in the Mountainside West that have not had a game canceled this football season.
Norvell said the team has been hit by COVID in every way and needs to be creative to get exercises and games. The exercises are divided in such a way that no more than 50 people are on the exercise field at the same time.
He said that at Mackay, players do not shower and locker room access is restricted to limit the number of people who can enter.
« We don’t meet as a team. It’s almost unprecedented, ”said Norvell. “It’s really difficult to put complex game plans together and get the kids to do them at a high level. ”
When the team met to study feature film on Monday, the players on the Mackay pitch were all socially distant and the film was showing on the scoreboard.
« Getting everyone to think as a team when you can’t meet as a team is a challenge, » said Norvell. « Everyone is fed up with (COVID) but you can’t let your guard down. ”
He said diet and sleep were emphasized to keep players’ immune systems as healthy as possible.
Nevada quarterback Carson Strong said players just go to practice, then go home and try to stay isolated as much as possible when they’re not playing soccer.
Strong said the newbies were initially excited to meet up and meet people, but have now realized the need to stay healthy and stay away from social gatherings.
Nevada senior linebacker Lawson Hall agreed, saying that players know the importance of doing everything possible to stay healthy and test COVID negative.
Due to positive COVID-19 cases as part of the Air Force women’s basketball program, the two-game series planned for December between the Falcons and Nevada is planned for Wednesday. 4-6 was postponed.
Jim Krajewski reports on high school and youth sports for the Reno Gazette Journal. Follow him on Twitter @RGJPreps. Support his work by subscribing to RGJ. com right here.
Nevada Wolf Pack Football, University of Nevada, Reno, Hawaii, Basketball, NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision
World News – USA – Wolf Pack athletes, coaches, thinking about the new get used to normal with COVID precautions
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