Photo accessed from SVC’s athletic gallery.
By Preston Blake
Finally, after what will be almost a year of waiting, sports are returning to Skagit valley college! Thanks to NWAC (Northwest Athletic Conference) and the athletics department here at Skagit, sports are finally allowed to safely return to SVC.
The last time students and faculty at Skagit were able to watch fellow cardinals play sports was back in March which is when Coronavirus reared its ugly head in the US and changed everyone’s lives. As the pandemic grew more dangerous and more rampant it seemed like the world would never truly get back to normal, and although that goal is still far away, you can expect a little bit of that to come back in the form of SVC sports!
A statement from NWAC themselves talks a little about the return of sports to Skagit and reads as follows. “This year has fostered a sense of perseverance and creativity in many ways. Skagit Valley College and SVC Athletics are committed to the development of each student and their well-being mentally, academically, and socially. We remain committed to supporting and connecting with our student-athletes through holistic student support. While we continue to build championship programs that develop an athletic culture that reaches far beyond a game or match, we will prioritize everyone in achieving their goals and dreams at SVC and beyond” (Athletics Return to Sports).
The first scheduled return is set to be on February 20th where the women and men’s basketball team will go up against Whatcom. You can expect that both to have three more games in the month followed by women’s volleyball, softball, baseball, and men’s and women’s soccer in March.
I interviewed our head baseball coach Shane Servoss and asked him about his thoughts regarding the return to sports and what it meant to him, the players, and the fans. As the head coach for the baseball team at Skagit, Mr. Servoss was practicing with the team last year when the season got canceled halfway through due to the pandemic and has seen the toll it has taken on fans and the players. Mr. Servoss has been with Skagit for four years and has been the head baseball coach for three. Here’s a portion of that interview:
How has the pandemic affected sports at Skagit?
It’s affected every college program, not just svc. Unfortunately, our season got cut short after 12 games last year. We’ve had a unique schedule throughout our fall season with practices and workouts due to meeting government and school and NWAC requirements. I know the athletes are excited to get back, they’ve had to make a lot of adjustments through the last year, but they’ve done a really good job.
Why has Skagit chosen now to bring back sports?
I believe in the fall we were able to practice at a limited capacity. We actually practiced for the majority of the fall season, so we were able to get practices in momentarily throughout September, October, and early November. I know there’s different phases for different sports which are labeled high, moderate, and low risk. And the high-risk sports which are more of the inside, close compact sports, Were, unfortunately, the ones who got pushed back to spring just like we did last year. It’s just all part of the plan and part of the phases and everyone just has to follow the guidelines to get back.
Will players have to wear masks when off the field?
Yes, masks will be required.
Will players have to get Covid tested?
The details are still being ironed out. But we’re not going to play unless its safe for the players
Coming as soon as next month, students and fans will finally see sports return to Skagit. You can thank not only NWAC and the athletic department for putting this all together by organizing the safety guidelines that must be put in place and using them effectively while allowing the players to get together and play, everyone should also give a big thank you to all the hard-working players and coaches who keep practicing and will be stepping back onto the court or field. Go cardinals!