As they prepared for Fall 2020, Sewanee athletes learned that COVID-19 had disrupted another facet of college life: no travel for sporting events. Teams could hold masked practices and workouts, but could not demonstrate their new skills on the field, in the pool, or in the arena. Numerous Sewanee sports poised to be champions had to push pause on their plans.
Now it is time for those plans to take off.
Spring 2021 finished strong for Sewanee sports. Even with the limitations, Men’s golf attended and won conference championships as well as carried on to nationals, and Women’s tennis received an at-large bid to qualify for nationals.
Athletic Director Mark Webb encountered unparalleled challenges last year. Nonetheless, he could not be happier to have Sewanee sports regain a sense of normalcy.
“The energy is at an all-time high,” said Mark Webb. “We’ve had well-attended scrimmages, this is the best recruiting year since I’ve been here. I am looking forward to an exciting fall”.
With COVID-19 still looming in the forefront, the University has taken necessary precautions to ensure that Sewanee athletes and all students remain safe.
“We are strictly following NCAA protocols. Protocols are no masks during active competition- none outside and only for benched players and fans inside”, Webb confirmed. Concerning traveling, he said, “Most if not all meals are eaten at hotels, not restaurants, and unvaccinated students will test after traveling… “We do not want a false sense of comfort, but it is reassuring that so many of our student-athletes are vaccinated.”
The Sewanee soccer, football, volleyball, lacrosse, and equestrian teams are gearing up to start their seasons.
Karine Gordy, head coach of the equestrian team, is excited to be back in the game.
“The adversity that the equestrians faced last year created a stronger bond among the team. We are ready and excited to move forward and keep up our consistent top placings”, Gordy said, said Coach Gordy. “The team coming into this season is the strongest team that the program has ever had, there is huge potential for us to be at the top.”.
Assistant Equestrian Coach Aelin Hill (C’10) added that “the campus-wide energy among athletics teams is more prominent than years past.”
The equestrian team kicks off their official season the weekend of September 25th with a home meet at Howell Equestrian Center. They will take a short hiatus during November and December before picking their season back up in January. Keep an eye out for their road to championships in the spring!