A bittersweet season for the TRU Wolfpack

Athletes reflect on the past year amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

TRU Men’s soccer goalkeepers along with the rest of the Wolfpack athletes did not play any official games this season due to the pandemic. (TRU Athletics)

The 2020/2021 season for the TRU Wolfpack has come to an end with teams halting practices for final exams and most athletes planning to head home for summer break. Due to COVID-19, all seasons were cancelled for WolfPack sports including soccer, volleyball, and basketball.

Although athletes struggled with the off-year, they were able to reflect on both positive and negative aspects of their seasons. 

“It was a difficult year for sure in terms of sports. I found it difficult to keep up my motivation. To go the extra mile in terms of individual training or going to the gym on my own,” Jan Pirettas, TRU men’s soccer captain admitted. “I give full credit to the WolfPack program and the coaching staff who were able to keep training intense and hold our heads up through this difficult time. They kept our focus sharp for the future and ensured that we progressed as a team. I think we are all a lot closer as a team after this season.”

All university and college sports across the country had their 2020-2021 sports seasons cancelled. In the Fall of 2020, some Wolfpack teams were granted permission to play exhibition games against local teams within their respective cohorts; however, as the virus spread, those games were shut down. Thereupon, no exhibition games have been sanctioned by USPORTS, leaving teams to train by themselves using socially distanced drills.

The change in training style gave athletes a chance to focus on the little things and perfect their technical game. They also were able to increase their strength and power in the weight room. 

“I actually really enjoyed this year. I was able to focus on my school work and fully recover from an injury that had been bugging me,” Jackson Gardner, a Wolfpack athlete mentioned. “I think being able to take a step back and fully enjoy the collegiate athlete experience without many of the pressures that usually come along with it has been really beneficial to me and my teammates. 

Overall, this season has left the Wolfpack with a bittersweet aftertaste. There were some athletes who were negatively affected, such as senior students who were unable to play their final season or those who were left unmotivated with no opportunities to compete. Although difficult, many athletes benefitted from the season with extra time to recover from injury, catch up in school, and improve their weaknesses. The Wolfpack along with the rest of the world will continue to remain positive and hope that things return back to normal soon enough. Hopefully, the 2021-2022 season will return to business as usual and see the WolfPack return to action in full force at TRU. 

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