By: Laura Brito
COVID-19 devastated senior athletes in the spring of 2020 when seasons were cut short or canceled altogether. But now some of those seniors have returned for another year of education and another year of athletics.
In fact three student-athletes on The University of Findlay baseball team are back and have taken advantage of the NCAA’s ruling to allow them another year of eligibility.
Head Baseball Coach Stephen Parril is happy to see these previous seniors be back on campus and on the baseball field especially, despite the hectic and saddening events of what should have and would have been their last spring season.
“We had eight seniors and three members decided to come back,” Parril said. “The three being Jordan Williams, he is doing Pharmacy, and then Austin Rawlins and Casey Gould are in PT, so they are still in school and that’s why they came back.”
Williams was relieved to get another opportunity to play.
“I wasn’t ready to like give up, like I didn’t want to end that, like I wanted to control how it was gonna end because COVID kind of took that away from me,” Williams said. “I am not ready to be a grown up, so this is like a thing that kind of makes me feel like a kid.”
Nick Berry, another senior elected to return to the team but in a different role: this time as an assistant coach. He says COVID provided him with more positives in various aspects of his life.
“I am able to come back here, not in the same position I was but I am still around with the guys that I used to play with,” Berry said.
Berry enjoys doing his job but being in a coaching position with his former teammates is an adjustment.
“It’s fun but is a little weird because there are times where I want to act or be like I am just another guy, another player with them,” Berry said. “Like I have to remind myself, I am a coach.”
The University of Findlay baseball team is currently training for its upcoming season scheduled to start on March 12, 2021. More information regarding their season can be found at the Oiler Baseball Schedule.
More information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on athletics throughout the NCAA can be found at The NCAA Website.
Jordan Williams Austin Rawlins Casey Gould Nick Berry
Note: This story was edited Jan. 31, 2021 to correct a spelling error.