SUNY Oswego coaching staff shares how COVID is affecting the future of athletics

SUNY Oswego Junior Alyssa DeMichael playing field hockey last year. Photo: Casey Anne Photography

OSWEGO, N.Y. — Laker Hall, once lively and full of student-athletes, is now empty and quiet. Due to COVID, fall sports have been suspended. 

“Trying to make sure they are staying connected with the program, with their teammates. Typically, around this time of year, we are always together every single day. That’s my biggest struggle, to try and replicate that in a virtual environment,” field hockey coach Heather Moore said.

Normally field hockey recruits would visit the campus and get a sense of the team. This year, recruits are not allowed to step foot on campus.

“Right now, we are utilizing the virtual tour that is through admissions. Trying to figure out some other creative ways to show them the campus cause I think that that’s the hardest part,” Moore said.

Coach Moore actively recruits at field hockey tournaments in Florida and Virginia. With COVID putting a hold on all tournaments, this impacts the future of sports.

“I’ve seen most of the players for the incoming class play multiple times prior to all these restrictions. I think we will probably see the impacts more significantly as you move it back so those graduating in 2022,” Moore said.

As fall sports, like field hockey, look forward to the future, winter sports’ athletes stay hopeful that their season will begin soon.

“If we are opened as a school, I think we will have some type of season,” swimming coach Micheal Holman said.

Seeing the positives swimming and diving coach Holman shares what he has learned throughout the situation.

“You don’t know what you have until it’s gone, and I think for some people they have really realized what they missed. Not being able to do it is a little bit of a wake-up call,” Holman said.

A wake-up call that has Oswego State’s coaches and athletes looking forward to next semester and hoping they can resume their seasons. SUNY Oswego plans to re-evaluate the start of athletics Jan. 1.