Keene State College is beginning to advertise the start up of club sports and activities again after COVID-19 cases have been stagnant.With students being required to get COVID-19 tested once a week to be able to attend in-person classes, captains of the women’s rugby club, seniors Chloe Pacocha and Megan Rogers, are itching to get back on the field.
“It will be a different season for sure; I’ve never played sports in a mask before,” Rogers said. “But I’m still so excited we are able to have some form of a season, even if it is just outdoor practice twice a week.”
The players can practice in groups no greater than three, must remain six feet apart and keep masks on for the duration of play.
“That’s for ‘phase one’ and then [I think] two weeks after that, if all is still well, we can practice in groups of six and then two weeks after that we can go into groups of ten, but I’m pretty sure we can’t exceed that,” Rogers said. “It’s going to be touch and go for sure, as much as we want to play, safety is always the top priority.”
Rogers is co-captain and president of the club and said she would be required to take everyone’s temperature prior to playing as well as fill out a symptoms form for each player.
“I was honestly heartbroken when I thought we weren’t going to have a season at all,” Pacocha said. “I’m so happy to be getting something.” Pacocha studied film abroad last semester in Auckland, New Zealand and missed the team’s spring tournament season. Both abruptly came to a close due to the immediate spread of COVID-19. “I was so worried I was going to miss out twice. I missed out on being able to hug my N.Z. family goodbye and I didn’t want to miss my final season and goodbye with my rugby family. I would have been devastated.” Pacocha is the other co-captain and vice president of the club.
Team manager junior Rebekah Crane expressed her excitement for the modified season as well.
“Of course I wish we could play games against other schools, but I understand why that can’t happen right now,” Crane said. “I’m super excited for practice, though, getting to see the girls is going to be so much fun.” Crane suffered a back injury two years ago during a spring tournament and can no longer participate in any contact sports. However, that didn’t stop her from staying involved with the team in some way. “It will be really cool to have some sense of normalcy back at school, even if it looks a little different. I think this will be really good for us and show everyone that things will turn around, sometimes it just takes a little longer to do so.” Crane said. Crane is a biology major and expressed that she will be keeping a close eye on the team’s practices and making sure all safety guidelines are being followed.
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