By Collin Frazier
With the unique sports season slowly starting up, Men’s and Women’s Cross Country, despite lacking in experience, is looking to show the G-MAC what Oiler Athletics is all about. Assistant Coach Eric Wymer is pleased with how the new talent is looking.
“We have added a lot of new talent to our roster this year,” Wymer explained. “Half of our team is comprised of freshmen, so we are a really young group. Each one of our newcomers brings something special to the table and will make contributions in different ways. It has been exciting to watch the first few weeks and how well the newcomers have integrated into the team and established various roles.”
Along with all of Oiler Nation, Wymer stated his sympathy for the players in contact sports that will not be able to play this fall, as well as how cautious the team will be to keep the athletes safe.
“My initial thoughts on the postponement of contact sports were that I was heartbroken for the athletes that have put so much time and work into preparing for their season, but will not get a chance to compete,” Wymer commented. “But I understand that the biggest concern is the health and safety of our athletes and our community. As things continue to develop, there is a concern that non-contact sports may follow suit. That being said, as a group we are making the most of the situation and controlling the aspects that we are able to and preparing for any changes that may occur.”
A common silver-lining seen throughout the world of sports is how each team has displayed resilience in the midst of a pandemic. Wymer says the team is no different, along with their growth as a team.
“The pandemic has brought forth many challenges and opportunities to adapt,” Wymer stated. “New requirements were put in place that restricted coach lead practices for the first two weeks of classes. During that time, our team did a great job coming together as a group and holding each other accountable to continue to put in the work needed for a successful season. The first week of practice confirmed that they have a strong chemistry and commitment to achieving high goals and I am excited to watch the season continue to unfold.”
Wymer then explained how meets will be different than most seasons.
“Competitions will look a little different this year, as meets will be smaller and mostly teams from our conference,” Wymer explained. “We look forward to building upon each race and improving throughout the season so that we can perform our best at the conference meet at the end of October.”
Oiler Cross Country begins its 2020 season at the Hillsdale Invitational on Sept. 12 in Hillsdale, Michigan.