COVID-19 infects on-campus sports coverage

By Kaie Quigley & Ruth Kehinde – Features Editor & Digital Editor

Director of Athletic Communication Kent Cherrington pictured in his office.
Photo by Kaie Quigley

With the exception of some teams practicing in hopes of playing in the spring, sports on campus have come to a halt. However, this lack of athletic action affects more than just players and coaches.

“I don’t have any event planning to take care of, and very little scheduling responsibilities,” said Director of Athletic Communications Kent Cherrington. In lieu of his usual workload, Cherrington has worked with the Marketing and Communications office, helping them with updating Lasell’s website as needed. “It was a smooth transition to working with the school’s website and I’m glad I could help them out.”

A lack of sports means a lack of content for the athletics website and social media pages. “A normal school year revolves around the schedule, results of the athletic events and honors and recognitions received by our student-athletes,” said Cherrington. “With the events on hold, we have [to be] a little more creative with our content.”

While Cherrington’s pool of interns shrunk dramatically this year, he still works with a few students that help write feature stories and manage social media. Senior Zach Kraft is one of these students. Kraft creates the coaching biographies and writes feature stories for the athletics page.

“Every week or two, he gives me a new story idea…always involving somebody at Lasell,” said Kraft. “I go out and take it upon myself to get in contact with them, write up the story, and then he edits and posts them up on the athletics website.”

Content on the athletics page during the pandemic has consisted of a variety of human interest stories featuring people involved with the athletics department, and a segment called “Alumni Spotlight” featuring Lasell athletic alumni. It looks at what alums are doing now and how their experiences at Lasell helped influence what they’re doing today.

“That’s the main thing that we’ve been focusing on due to the lack of sports,” said Kraft. “It’s been good for me and the people who I’ve interviewed because they got to tell a story that was more than just their activity with the sport. You got to know more about them as a person.”

Cherrington says working with students like Kraft “has been great for everyone, as it not only helps us with content for our website and social media, but it gives them excellent real-world experience that they can use going forward.” Krafts trusts his experience in this internship has taught and inspired him to go into sports writing.

“It’s hard to stay intrigued when there aren’t sports to cover on campus and when there’s not as much in the professional realm,” said junior Taylor Viles, sports editor for The 1851 Chronicle. “What I’ve found is that teaching myself how to create and think about stories when there are no sports is really going to help my future career in the sports media industry.”

Although there have been no games to cover, human interest stories have sufficed for the likes of Cherrington, Kraft and Viles while working on campus this semester.

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