Hope on the horizon

Winter sports coaches prepare for some sort of season in January

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- Dane Sheehan/UW-Whitewater Athletics.

UW-Whitewater men’s basketball freshman JT Hoytink (right) goes for a layup while contested on defense by freshman teammate Caleb Flaten-Moore (left) during the team’s practice on Friday Oct. 23.

Devin Ulrich, Assistant Sports Editor

Competition of UW-W sports are canceled through Dec. 31 of this year, but once January 1st hits, there is a chance sports will be back on for the Warhawks. With winter sports like basketball and track and field hopeful for that opportunity, practices continue at full force with a chance on the horizon.

“Our kids are pretty hungry at the moment. Our team has been without the sport for quite a while, so they are pretty excited. We continue to embrace the chance at a season even with the new limitations,” men and women’s track and field head coach Mike Johnson said.

Track and field continues to be without the sport for nearly eight months and by the time the team will have a chance to resume, it will be almost a year without competition. It was tough to swallow as well last year when the indoor season championships were pulled from the athletes. Though embracing opportunities-especially in a pandemic is key. Coach Johnson has these athletes ready to go whenever their time does come.

Basketball, also a very popular sport around UW-Whitewater, continues to deal with a long lay off of no season too. Head coach Keri Carollo of the Women’s team still enjoys the time the team has received and is hopeful as well for a chance at competition.

“I am lucky to work with such hard working young women every day, and they have continued to stay positive,” Carollo said.

Men’s head coach Pat Miller is very proud of his team as well given the circumstances, and lack of ability to do a lot of live drills in practice.

“We have been operating under limitations, for example only staying in groups of four to five the whole duration of practice. Though work ethic has been great with a lot of younger players on the team, and I give them a lot of credit especially with a new system and being able to stay dialed in given the circumstances,” Miller said.

Challenges will arise if sports do come back in the new year. Some championship dates for the winter sports are staying the same, meaning scheduling affairs could occur if fallouts happen. 

Unlike professional or division one sports for Covid-19 testing, the NCAA for division three are suggesting testing three times a week, so if athletes can stay on track and follow protocols the games should be in good shape. It will take a lot of responsibility and accountability, but sports do look possible in the given months. The drought of no sports for eight months, could be coming to an end soon.

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