By Maxmillian Robinson
Senior year is a time to look back and reflect on many of the positive experiences of being on campus. However, in the midst of a pandemic, it’s rather cliche to fully comprehend the significance of one last ride, knowing that lives are at risk daily.
This semester our Brown and Gold athletes began their seasons after having off for almost an entire calendar year. Despite all of this, the fourth-year athletes appreciate the past, but have adapted to these new changes too.
“My life has changed a lot this season, in ways I never thought it would,” said women’s lacrosse player Kailey Broderick. “As a team, we hold each other more accountable, but we also have learned when we need to turn the page and move on, both on and off the field. I’ve also known how much the bond of a team truly means, but this year our bond has reached a new level.”
Kailey Broderick made the most of her opportunities playing lacrosse.
Even though a season is being played, Covid 19 is still causing problems. Several people on the lacrosse team contracted the virus, leaving them to be separated at times. This would cause issues with consistency because players would have to quarantine for 14 days in order to complete the protocol requirements
Broderick has not contracted the virus, but she and the team members who were in quarantine at the time stay in touch constantly trying to improve the situation.
“There was still never a day where a teammate didn’t check in on me and see how I was doing,” she said. “This season has taught me to never take anything for granted.”
Other athletes, like baseball player Tyler Becker, picked up unique responsibilities upon the season resuming. “I had originally applied to graduate school just to finish my graduate degree,” he said. “Now, I am going through graduate school while also playing my final season of college baseball.”
Tyler Becker took on the new challenges of playing baseball for the team this year.
Being a grad student, Becker has accepted this as being his last season and has come to terms with moving on. “More than anything I am just happy to be playing,” he said. “ Last March when the season got canceled, I wasn’t sure if I would get the chance to play out my final season. I wouldn’t change anything because I have really enjoyed my four years of college baseball. I’ve come to learn a lot.”
Softball player Lauren O’Neill also mentioned her feelings about this being the final season. “I have always practiced being grateful for all the opportunities I am given, but after having a season being taken away from me last year, I am able to understand why it is so important to make every moment matter,” she said. “I am coming back for the 2022 season while I get my masters degree here in sports management.”
Lauren O’Neill said she’s excited for another opportunity to play softball this year.
Most players agree that time can and should not be taken for granted. Many have learned new skills that they have applied to their own lives that they will take into their future.
“I have learned to work extremely hard at all times, even if I don’t feel at my best that day,” O’Neill said. “Being a member of this program has given me way more than just an opportunity to play a sport.”
“I have learned to be resilient and determined,” Broderick said. “These two traits combined, on and off the field, will help anyone to be successful. Resiliency is a big word this year. If you’re not resilient in times like this, then you have no chance of overcoming whatever challenges are thrown at you. Determination is something I’ve always had with myself individually, but having a team filled with 20-plus other girls who are determined towards the same goal with you is an unmatched feeling and experience.”
All of these skills will help to better herself, as she is returning to study her masters in physical education and to fully complete her four-year athletic career here.
All three Panther athletes said these have been interesting college years.
“The memories I reflect on the most are the good times I have with my teammates,” Becker said. “Having fun on the field with them just playing the game of baseball are the things I will remember most.”
These memories will last a lifetime for some athletes, even if it has nothing to do with the sport they’ve played.
“There isn’t one specific memory that I would like to reflect on,” O’Neill said. “My experience here has been something I will be able to reflect on for the rest of my life. Most of my reflection doesn’t even have to do with actually playing or practicing. Being a member of this program has given me way more than just an opportunity to play a sport.”