OSWEGO, N.Y.– The State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) has announced its return to play plan for the spring season of 2021. SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras, joined by SUNYAC commissioner Tom DiCamillo and SUNY Oswego President Deborah Stanley for a press conference to announce the news.
“It’s great to be able to resume some of our core academic and athletic activities on our campuses,” Malatras said. “You feel our campuses coming back to life in really meaningful ways and I just know, you just see these student-athletes here, they’re excited, you can feel the energy when you walk into the room.”
The SUNYAC will be restarting men’s and women’s lacrosse, baseball, softball, women’s tennis and track & field. The plan that has been put in place, sets March 20th as the earliest date for competition.
There are many other protocols being put into place as well. The conference will be split into two divisions, east and west in order to reduce travel and overnight stays, new travel guidelines that do not allow eating or drinking on team busses and a testing requirement specific for student-athletes.
“They’re gonna get tested within 3 days of competition,” Malatras said. “So we can better monitor those conditions of our student-athletes to make sure they’re not unknowingly spreading the virus.”
In order for the spring season to be played, the players will have to follow the protocols. While this may mean taking some extra precautions, the student-athletes know that it is what must be done in order to play.
“We want to lead by example,” said Ryan Enos, a senior on the Oswego State baseball team. “It feels good to finally have a plan in place, so we’re gonna follow the protocols as they’re given to us. We’re just thankful that we’re finally able to get out there and do it.”
Even with these guidelines, the athletes are excited. The athletes have been waiting to hear this news since the 2020 spring season was canceled nearly a year ago.
“I can speak for every single athlete,” said Leah Czerwinski, senior on the Oswego State softball team. “We are beyond thankful to just be able to play because that’s all we wanted.”
As the schedule stands today, the Lakers will return to play on March 26th when the Oswego State men’s lacrosse team hosts the Geneseo Knights to open their season.