By: Meghan Carroll– 1851 Staff
The year 2020 has been a rough one for everyone. With the rapid growth of COVID-19, our lives have come to an abrupt stop. Everyone has been impacted in some sort of way, especially students, more specifically, senior student-athletes.
A player’s last season is a season to remember. The last time playing the sport they love with people who have grown to be, not just teammates, but best friends. Although spring senior athletes cannot be refunded for the countless hours spent in the gym, practices and for the few amount of games they were able to play, the NCAA has agreed to give them an extra year of eligibility.
Lasell men’s baseball team has four seniors, Joe Sullivan, Grant Duford, Chris O’Connor, and Lorenzo Davis, all committed to coming back for the 2021 season. Men’s lacrosse will potentially have one senior returning, Brendan Johnson, as well as Scott Sterenberg for the men’s volleyball team. Women’s lacrosse will be welcoming back Amanda DiLeonardo, who also plays for the women’s volleyball team.
The Lasell Athletic Department had to make the tough decision to cancel the season days before baseball, softball, men’s lacrosse, and women’s lacrosse would all go off on their spring break trips. Women’s lacrosse has spent the last few years fundraising for their trip to Puerto Rico, men’s lacrosse was meant to travel to Maryland and both baseball and softball teams were planning to head to Florida for spring training.
Although it was a difficult decision, the seniors appreciated the support from the University, specifically their teammates and coaches. After speaking with Chris O’Connor, he was very pleased with how the school had handled the situation although it would end his senior season.
“The support I received was great. A lot of my former teammates reached out to us, and my current teammates were a great support through the process. The coaches’ support was also great, right away they made it known that all the seniors are welcome back and that if there’s anything we need, to reach out to them.” Chris will be returning to receive his MBA as well as to finish his final season with the men’s baseball team.
If there’s one thing senior athletes have gotten out of this unfortunate situation, it’s learning to not take the little things for granted. Senior Grant Duford stated, “This situation has definitely positively impacted me in the sense that my appreciation for the things I already have in my life is so much more than it was before, such as my family, friends and being able to play baseball.”
Senior captain Joe Sullivan also expressed how the situation has, in some ways, positively impacted, not only himself but all athletes who are planning on using their last year.
“Athletes always say ‘I wish I had more time to get bigger, faster, stronger, etc.’ and now we have that time. It is a great chance to get better and improve our game…2021 will be the most competitive spring season the NCAA has ever seen,” said Sullivan.