Wishing for Connection but Only Getting Competition

Hamline fall sports are all experiencing different levels of competition this spring, but what they really miss is the teamwork.

Jilly Wortman, Sports Reporter

April is the new September, or at least that is how it feels for fall athletes. After months of anticipation, the whistle has been blown and competitions are up and running. The average Joe needs to squint in order to see fall sports in the way that they’re usually conducted, but it is a step in the right direction. 

Currently, Hamline, along with the rest of Division III athletics, is in the midst of a juggling act. There is a lot going on at Hamline’s fields. Spring sports are in full swing, and fall teams are trying to reserve their space over a year later. There is no cookie cutter for how seasons are approaching this time. Almost every fall team has a different setup for how they are spending this spring. 

Cathryn Salis

As of October of 2020, all Division III athletes were granted an extra year of eligibility due to the president’s council approving a blanket waiver. No matter how many games athletes play this year, they still have the opportunity to come back for a normal season next year. 

Two of the fall teams are not participating in any type of competition this year. Cross country is one of those teams, however they do have an alternative since the outdoor track season is happening, and both the men’s and women’s teams have five meets scheduled. 

“Football is a hard sport to find games for, due to the physical toll that one game does to the athlete’s bodies. I wish we could have played one or two games, but because spring sports get priority, I understand why we aren’t playing,” Conzet said.

Football, on the other hand, has nothing scheduled and is not planning on scheduling anything either. Will Conzet, a senior on the football team, weighed in on how the team is using the extra time. “We are using spring to learn our playbook and to build on our foundation for next year,” Conzet said. 

Every other Hamline team has some kind of game scheduled, whether they are exhibition or regular season. The Piper athletes have had much success on the field, the time off has helped them out.

After over a year of waiting and postponements, the overall energy around this athletic season has been positive. “I was truly just really happy to get the opportunity to play some games with our seniors before they left,” Carin Currier, a sophomore on the women’s soccer team, said.

There is one sentiment that has been consistent in the Hamline community throughout this whole experience, and that is the longing for a time that people could have gathered together to make a community and form deeper connections. 

“I wish my team could have done more team bonding but social distancing really restricted that,” Currier said. 

The school year is winding down, but the world is only ramping up. There is hope with Hamline being open in the fall that these athletes will get to return to team-versus-team competition, rather than the current people-versus-virus competition.  

Aidan Stromdahl