Ro Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
After having a year and a half off of sports due to the surge of COVID-19, all sports are back in full swing as though they never left. Practices, scrimmages, games and meets are all at the forefront of Ursinus Athletics. This is exciting news for all UC athletes, however there is one more group of people that are just as excited as the students: the coaches. The UC coaches have also had a year and a half away from coaching their designated teams, and are ready now more than ever to make a comeback in the Centennial Conference. But what is it that these coaches have missed the most, and how are they preparing for the best possible outcome of their season?
With fall sports completing an entire season without any delays or problems, due to COVID, there was hope for both winter and spring sports to be able to do the same. Now in the middle of February, winter sports are coming to an end while spring sports are just beginning. This year has been just as interesting for the students as it has for the coaches, and with all of the changes happening in sports, making sure that the coaches are prepared for this year, just as much as the athletes, was a major priority. New Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Bobbi Morgan, talks about what it has been like returning to the courts after a year off. “I arrived here in very late September so it was a mad scramble to get ready for the season. We had nine players on our team (all of our first years and sophomores) who had never played college basketball. Some teams had a lot of players returning who were starters or leading scorers etc and so that made it very challenging for our young team.” While it was difficult and a quick adjustment for Morgan to come right in and get started, she stated, “we were all very grateful to be playing.”
As their season is wrapping up, there are a few things that Morgan is looking forward to. Having such a young team coming into the season, she knew that there would be many challenges that lie ahead. “I knew from the beginning of the year that we were going to have to measure success in different ways with such a young team. We have had a lot of growth this year – a lot of young players got a chance to compete.” Every small milestone was a huge lesson for both coaches and athletes and “I think we did although we have a long, long way to go to get where I want to be,” concluded Morgan.
While Women’s Basketball is coming to an end, Women’s Lacrosse has just started. Head Coach, Rachel Howard-Franklin is extremely excited to be back on Patterson Field with all players and coaches. “Returning to the field for the first full season since 2019, it is really exciting for the entire team to enjoy the memories we get to make together,” stated Howard-Franklin. Additionally, this team has even more to look forward to with the possibility of them getting to travel to Puerto Rico over Spring Break to train/play.
With the season just beginning, there is much to look forward to, as there has been a lot of precious time missed. She explained that “I’m most looking forward to the team getting the chance to prove themselves on the field this season. From top to bottom, freshmen to seniors, every single player in our program has the chance to make a huge impact on us.” However, having a close-knit team seems to be the biggest contributor to a successful season and “our chemistry is something that will allow us to find success in our 17 matchups and sustain a culture that each member will be proud to be a part of.”
We wish all coaches and athletes the best of luck finishing and beginning their season. Go Bears!