Embry-Riddle athletic events are a highlight for not only athletes, but athletic enthusiasts as well. In response to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Council of Presidents Executive Committee of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced the cancellation of the spring 2020 sports season on Mar. 16, effective immediately.. The ramifications of the cancellation were discussed at great length. At the time, the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) recommendation was to limit gatherings to fewer than 50 people for eight weeks. Because of this, the Committee could not in good conscience put student-athletes, staff, and fans at risk. There was not a single athletic competition that would be limited to 50 people for the remainder of the spring season.
Many people including student-athletes, fans, and staff that look at this decision as a complete loss of their college careers. However, the NAIA has taken mercy on all student-athletes. They have decided not to charge any spring sport student-athlete for a season of competition. This means that all spring sport student-athletes have been awarded two additional semester terms. This announcement is not only for the NAIA but also every division of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Two additional semester terms have been awarded to student-athletes as some sports seasons last for both the fall and the spring.
The Eagles have lost the opportunity to play in many tournaments and games. Embry-Riddle teams that can no longer play include the Men and Women’s golf teams, the Men and Women’s outdoor track teams, and softball.
The Women’s golf team ended on a high note with a win and six of the team’s seven in the top ten with four in the top three of the won tournament. However, they lost their chance at bringing home the trophies from the Battle at Primm, the California Pacific Conference tournament which would have been hosted in Prescott, and the NAIA National Championship which they had in sight. The Men’s golf team ended with regret, longing, and vengeance in their hearts as they placed fourth in their final tournament. The men wanted desperately to prove themselves in the Conference tournament hosted in Prescott to take them back to the NAIA National Championship. The Men and Women’s team will be losing five seniors in 2020: Jessica Williams (Tucson, Ariz.), Tana House (Columbus, Mont.), Megan Hessil (Franklin, Wins.), Lewis Breslin (Scotland), Zack Johnson (Buckeye, Ariz.), and Kyle Peterson (Peoria, Ariz.).
The Women’s outdoor track team started with a great performance as three different Eagles finished in the Top 3 in two different events. The Men’s outdoor track team also started with a great performance as one Eagle placed in the top three for two events and another Eagle placed fourth. Both teams had five races canceled including Nationals, which the Eagles would have been able to attend, as junior Austin Luttrell (Santa Fe, N.M.) qualified for the half marathon. The Men and Women’s team will be losing three seniors in 2020: Wyatt Smith (Riverside, Calif.), Hobb Kimmerling (Muliteo, Wash.), and Emma Lewis (Flower Mound, Tex.).
The softball team started out their season slowly but gained strength with continual wins until their season was cut short ending at 12-8. The women had 12 games left until they started their conference tournament. Only two seniors will be leaving in 2020: Carly Carlsen (Littleton, Colo.) and Elyssa Bramer (Lancaster, Calf.).