Pride game canceled

Hamline’s Lacrosse team put hard work into their yearly pride game against Augsburg, yet unfortunate disease puts an end to their plans.

Levi Jones, Sports Editor

With the cancellation of Hamline’s spring athletics seasons teams have been left disappointed that their time has been cut short.

For the lacrosse team, one special game in particular was canceled.

The past two years Hamline’s lacrosse game against Augsburg was celebrated as a

pride game. The game was set to be at Hamline this year, organizations from around campus were invited to watch the game and celebrate LGBTQ athletes.

“This game has been evolving for the past three years,” lacrosse coach Karen Heggernes said. “We created this game as an awareness game and an inclusion game.”

Prior to the game being at Hamline coach Heggernes and her former high school student created an Ally game at Lee High University. Hamline adopted this in 2018. Originally the game was meant to show allyship for all minority groups, though with time it became more streamlined to be focused on the LGBTQ community.

“We are rebranding, refocusing just to pride, but pride is also an inclusive term for all communities,” Heggernes said. “Our efforts are a little more focused into that community.”

Not only did attendants get to see a competitive lacrosse game between two teams that have both made it to playoffs for the past three seasons, the 2018 championship game was won by Hamline over Augsburg by only one point. The teams have worn special pride shirts they have tie dyed and hear music and announcements around the theme.

Having the game between Augsburg and Hamline was a natural fit, the teams are neighbors and both competitive.

“Myself, the Augsburg coach is my best friend, she is extremely supportive of all things LGBTQIA,” Heggernes said. “And myself being the out coach on campus I wanted to make sure  that this was for the student athletes, this was not for me.”

A major part of the planning came from the students on the team. Senior Ali Welke played a big part in planning the game.

“What we are trying to accomplish with it is to show that we embrace the LGBTQ community,” Welke said. “It is no secret that the relationship between the LGBTQ community and sports has been a rough one.”

Hamline has been vocal about their support of the LGBTQ community. On March 1 the board of trustees voted unanimously to become a reconciling university. This has made Hamline the first of its kind in Minnesota and the second in the nation.

“We had a meeting with Karen and some of the coaches to talk about some of the stuff we hope to accomplish with it,” Welke said.

The group planned to wear special “shooter shirts” a type of shirt that players wear as they warm up.

The event was planned as being student led.

“I’m really relying on the students to create the messaging and whatnot, it’s a celebration for them. It’s their game,” Heggernes said.

While the game’s message and competitiveness were anticipated to be celebratory and fun, the game was canceled due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in Minnesota.

Teams around Minnesota have canceled their seasons. Prior to Hamline’s cancellation, the lacrosse team had forgone shaking hands after games, choosing to wave instead. This measure was put in place to prevent the spread of the disease.

With the disappointment faced by student athletes at the cancellation of their seasons one of the hardest hit groups on the team are the seven seniors who coach Heggernes was quite proud of in their performances and growth on the team.