SNU sports stunted in wake of Covid

Jax McLaren, Reporter

When lockdowns started in the United States a year ago, Sierra Nevada University sent its students home for an extended spring break, only to have them complete the semester – and the fall semester after – via Zoom instruction. Now, students are finally back in the classroom, but SNU’s sports teams remain disrupted, partially because of COVID’s effect, but also mismanagement, coaching shortages and declining enrollment.
As the school rebounds from a chaotic year, its teams will be challenged to rebuild from the damage.
Men’s Lacrosse Team
The lacrosse team couldn’t play this season due to COVID restrictions, but also from a lack of players and lack of opponents. The one-perennial conference champion contender has been relegated to a club sport status.
Last year’s season was cut short due to COVID-19 in March, and since returning this spring, the lacrosse team has been training in the gym as well as practicing on the field in preparation for the summer tournament in Tahoe. Head Coach Chris Rowney is reaching out across the U.S. for recruits for next season as well.
Golf Teams
Both the men’s and women’s golf teams are planning to have a full season within the CAL-PAC Conference. All of the athletic directors agreed within the conference that golf is one of the sports that has been deemed safe in which to participate. Both teams have been practicing in preparation. The only thing preventing them from playing would be a resurgence of COVID-19.
Free Ski/Snowboard
The virus has unfortunately limited the number of resorts available to host the USCSA competitions, so many of the competitions were cancelled this winter. Many of the individual regional competitions were cancelled as well. Although there is a lack of competition, the school still purchased season passes for the team to try to support them through the virus. Skiers and snowboarders have been practicing on their own schedule at Boreal or Diamond Peak. Depending on what the USCSA deems safe, the team may be traveling to a regional mountain that is able to host a competition. Sierra Nevada University has a long pedigree of champion Snowsports teams, including several USCSA national championships.
Soccer Teams
SNU’s men’s and women’s soccer teams are preparing for a full season next fall. They are being very cautious and are trying to figure out how travel will work. A regular season would mean teams from different counties traveling to each other’s schools. Athletic Director and Men’s Head Coach Chris DeLeon has been exploring the possibility of COVID tests for all players within three days of traveling to another team. The conference has limited a lot of the travel. The teams will be playing mostly regional, along with all NAIA sports. That includes golf, soccer and cross-country.
Alpine Ski Race Teams
The International Conference for SNU’ ski race team has been very organized and able to have mountains host competitions. However, the USCSA has cancelled future competitions for the remainder of the season. So the race team will only be performing in International competitions for the rest of the season.