Fall sports are back

Junior+Quarterback%2C+Jason+Ceniti+%28red+jersey%29+takes+a+shot+down+the+field+in+a+morning+practice+on+a+field+behind+Perkins+Stadium+on+August+25th%2C+2021.

Evan Halpop

Junior Quarterback, Jason Ceniti (red jersey) takes a shot down the field in a morning practice on a field behind Perkins Stadium on August 25th, 2021.

Nay Salter, Sports Editor

 

Whether on the field or in the stands, Warhawks are eager to get back in action with fall sports this season. It’s an exciting time for all at UW-Whitewater after a year-long hiatus of in-person athletic events. 

“Yes, people will be allowed to come to sporting events,” said Assistant Athletic Director Chris Lindeke. “Facial coverings must be worn by fans for any indoor events regardless of vaccination status.” 

Not only will athletes enjoy the cheering of fans in the stands this year, but also travel to competitions and have more training time for practice. Importantly, these sports programs will be able to compete in their conferences this year. 

Warhawks in all sports are clawing to get back into the game, but that couldn’t be more true for Whitewater Football. Their last normal season was back in 2019, making it more than a year since they’ve gotten to play on the field. This year’s season there will be more veterans returning as well, which brings much excitement to the team. Fortunately the team will be able to maintain a normal mode of practicing, however, when they practice indoors they will follow COVID-19 guidelines of mask wearing and social distancing. 

Some players to watch in the upcoming season include: Alex Peete, Max Meylor, Ryan Wisniewski and Kyle Gannon on offense and Mackenzi Balaganayi, Mark McGrath and Tommy Matoska on defense. The first time fans will see the Warhawks fly onto the field will be Saturday, Sept. 4 against Carthage at 1 p.m. in Whitewater. 

“We are looking forward to packing the Perk on September 4th,” said Football Head Coach Kevin Bullis about the team. “I’m so proud of them. Their energy: they’re juiced to be together and they didn’t take one day for granted. They didn’t take one opportunity to train for granted.” 

UW-W soccer teams are set to start kicking the ball around again too this fall. The men’s team is excited that friends and family will be allowed to attend games this season and that they can travel to face off against competitors. The men will play away against the Edgewood Eagles Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. 

“One thing I’m looking forward to is traveling with my team,” said Men’s Soccer Head Coach Tony Guinn. 

Other fall men’s sports include the first big tennis invitational meet Sept. 10 and an alumni intersquad meet Sept 4 for both men’s and women’s cross country. 

It’s an exciting start of the season for women’s sports due to a packed game schedule to kick off the new school year. Women’s volleyball faces off against Chicago Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. in Whitewater. The first women’s tennis also has a big day on the first with home play against Cardinal Stritch, Illinois Tech and Edgewood. The women’s soccer team will compete against the St. Scholastica Saints for their first game this year in Duluth, Minnesota Friday, Sept. 3 at 4 p.m. Women’s golf will have an exciting first week as well with it’s first match set for Sept. 3rd and 4th against Carthage. 

Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Update

The Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference released its “Return to Play” plan for the 2020-21 academic year Aug. 27. 

The WIAC canceled conference seasons and championships in football, women’s soccer, volleyball and men’s and women’s cross country. Institutions will be permitted to conduct practices/training sessions within the limitations stipulated by the NCAA throughout the 2020-21 academic year.

League discussions will continue regarding plans to conduct a predetermined, limited number of contests against outside competition in football, women’s soccer and volleyball during the 2021 spring semester.

The WIAC has suspended competition for women’s tennis and golf. Conference seasons and championships in those sports will be moved to the spring semester. Institutions will be permitted to conduct practices within the limitations stipulated by the NCAA during the fall semester.

“I am proud of the conference and our fellow member institutions for putting together a plan to return to play as soon and as safely as possible,” Interim Athletic Director Ryan Callahan said. “While I’m disappointed that our teams won’t be able to compete this fall, I’m confident in the abilities of our head coaches and support staff to create an atmosphere of learning and growth with our teams through other opportunities during the fall semester. As has been the case throughout this process, the health and well-being of our student-athletes and staff will be at the forefront of discussions moving forward.”

A decision on the winter sports season will be determined at a later date.

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