Senior Dom Fiorentino steps to the plate during a spring training game, and crushes the ball over the fence, the second of back-to-back homers for the Bears. He didn’t know it would be one of his last home runs as a college baseball player.
One of the most popular sayings in sports is, “Play every game like it’s your last.” Still, many Ursinus seniors playing spring sports were caught off guard by the sudden ending of their athletic careers.
The coronavirus pandemic means the cancellation of seasons for many student athletes at Ursinus and around the country. While this may be what is safest at the moment, senior athletes for the Bears were left confused and disappointed.
The Ursinus men’s lacrosse team had very high expectations for this season, and they were living up to them. The Bears started off 7-0, were ranked 6th in the nation, and were gearing up to take on 9th ranked Gettysburg.
One of the stars of the team, All-American Bobby McClure, was sad to see the season come to an end.
“The hardest part about losing this season in particular is because we were on a great run and had more juice in the tank to win our conference championship and make a run at the national championship,” McClure said. McClure ended his career as the all-time leading scorer for Ursinus lacrosse.
Rachel Dunne, a senior for the women’s lacrosse team, was also distraught to hear the news. She hopes athletes can learn from this in the future: “You have to treat each day like it really is your last and constantly give your all when you can because you don’t know when your last effort is going to be,” she said.
Likewise, the Ursinus Baseball team is trying to cope with the ending of its season. The Bears were finishing up their spring training trip in Florida and enjoying the sunshine state, when they came to a realization about what was occurring.
Fiorentino, a four-year starter for the Bears, was devastated to find out that his senior season was being cut short. “We had a great group of guys and knew we had something special. It sucks not being able to play, and see all our hard work pay off,” said Fiorentino.
Jen Hammons of the women’s softball team would rather look at the memories her team has made than think about what’s going on now. “I’ve never been on a softball team that was as close as this year’s team. We were always laughing and having fun together.”
Each of these senior leaders knew exactly what they would miss the most. “I will miss my teammates and competing with them most, that is something I will remember for the rest of my life,” said Fiorentino.
Although Hammons’ career is over, she wants to continue to be there to support Ursinus Softball: “They are not getting rid of me! I will still be around for them to hang out or if they just need a friend!”
Dunne describes her team as a family, and said that being a part of such a close team changed her entire outlook on college: “I may not have even stayed at Ursinus without these amazing girls.”
Similarly, McClure will miss his teammates more than anything. “Most of all, I will miss being around 43 of my best friends day in and day out, while we all give everything we have for a common goal,” says McClure.
It really is true that you never know when a game will be your last.