Updated: March 22, 2020 01:11 AM
Created: March 21, 2020 06:19 PM
(ABC 6 News) - Over the last 10 days, athletes around the world have seen their seasons end abruptly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those impacts still being felt right here in Rochester at RCTC. The Yellowjackets softball team was on their way back from spring training in Myrtle Beach, SC when they were told their season would be postponed until early April.
At the time they were told this, and what the guidelines were for being around groups, Head Coach Cori Ronnenberg was hopeful the season would only see delays and not cancellation altogether.
Then this past Monday, the NJCAA said they have, "made the difficult decision to cancel all upcoming basketball championships, spring sports competition for the remainder of the academic year."
RCTC's short-lived season came to an end, but they know it is one that won't be forgotten.
"Some of these players worked extra hard, pushed through injuries, held off surgeries," Ronnenberg said. "So, I think all in one just hurts."
Following the end of their quick season, coach added that some of the players reached out to say thank you, also expressing their excitement for next year. However, not everyone will return for the 2020-2021 season.
"It hurts in the long run because some of these sophomores won't be coming back," Ronnenberg said. "They didn't have that opportunity for all conference, make the all-state team, win the conference or get that chance to play at the regional tournament, which we possibly could have this year with our talent."
The question of eligibility has been a popular one in the world of collegiate sports since the postponements and cancellations began. But the NJCAA stated, "no student-athlete will be charged a season of eligibility for the spring 2020 NJCAA athletic season."
Certainly a bright spot during this crisis, but now the question is, what happens to recruiting?
"We'll still get some pretty good recruits coming in," Ronnenberg added. "You get some leaving, like I said if they want to play softball, they have another year of eligibility. Unfortunately for the high school athletes, if they do cut their seasons short, that's gonna be tough, but there's always summer softball too."
As tough as it has been for athletes, teams, and coaches during this time, the same message has been echoed across the board. This crisis is much bigger than the game and health and family are the top priorities.
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