By Luke Mich
With health concerns a priority, the Saint Vincent basketball and swimming teams will begin their seasons a little later than usual, in January 2021. Because of this, these athletes will return to campus a bit earlier than their classmates.
“Our players are set to return from winter break on January 2,” said Dr. Terrance Smith, head men’s basketball coach. “Our first game is scheduled for January 16 at home against Franciscan.”
Smith added that the schedule will consist of 13 regular season games, with all of them being played against conference teams. The conference tournament would supposedly start a week later than usual, beginning the first week of March. However, much about the season is still up in the air.
“I am not sure about all of the safety procedures being put in place. We are standing by until we get more information from the conference,” Smith said.
As for swimming, recent news was announced by the conference about the regular season, including some additional health guidelines and a set schedule. Head Swimming Coach Josh Gurekovich noted some of the plans for the upcoming season.
“We have a plan set for the 2020-21 season. Meets will all be single sex this year, with women swimming on Fridays and men swimming on Tuesday,” Gurekovich said.
This differs from years past, in which most meets were co-ed with swimming events going women first, then men, or vice versa.
Another difference is the substantial reduction of meets and competitions. Gurekovich said that the teams would normally have done four to five dual meets at this point in the year, but this season there will probably be only five total meets plus the conference meets.
“Originally our first meet this season was scheduled for October 12. The first meet is currently scheduled for January 29, with the conference meet being held the first week of March.”
To prepare for the upcoming season, both the men’s and women’s swimming teams have been practicing this semester. However, just like the schedule, changes are necessary due to health concerns.
“There are limitations on the number of people allowed in the pool and pool area. To help ensure a safe and healthy season we wear our masks whenever we are not in the water, complete COVID-19 screenings before team meetings, and we have smaller practice groups,” said Lauren Krecota, a junior finance major. Krecota does the butterfly and the individual medley, among other events.
“Recently, we were informed of new practice restrictions limiting it 3 people per practice. Most years we would have two 2-hour practices per day, with Sunday off, but I don’t believe that will be possible with the restrictions in place,” said Noah Schollaert, a sophomore finance major who does the butterfly and individual medley.
Despite the limitations and restrictions put on the swimming teams, they will arrive shortly after New Year’s Day, on Monday, Jan. 4. From then on, they will practice in hopes of having a shortened, but competitive, season.