Emerson’s COVID-19 precautions have athletes questioning seasons’ future

By Ethan McDowell, Sports Editor

Senior women’s tennis athlete Mackenzie Swaney spent the first few matches of her final season recovering from a concussion. Two days after her first practice, Swaney received the news that the team’s remaining matches may be in jeopardy. 

“I was like ‘wow, I was just getting cleared and now I can’t play because of corona[virus],’” Swaney said in an interview. 

The college announced the transition to online classes in an email Tuesday amid the spread of COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus, throwing the future of the 2020 spring sports season into question. 

Vice President and Dean of Campus Life Jim Hoppe, in an interview with The Beacon Tuesday night, said the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference will meet tomorrow, and the college will go along with whatever the conference decides. Information surrounding a definitive decision was not readily available as of Tuesday night. 

Swaney said she hopes the conference decides to continue the season, giving her the chance to appear in a match as a senior. 

“It is getting very crazy, but I think it’s kind of still early to really determine if we should be canceling these things,” Swaney said. “Personally, I would love to like at least get one match in.”

The women’s tennis team is scheduled to play its next match on March 21 against Lesley University. 

The baseball team played Framingham State University Tuesday, and after receiving the news following the game, senior outfielder Cam Beattie is facing the reality that this might be the last time he wears a Lions uniform. 

“The first thing that came to my head was ‘this is the last time I’m gonna get to suit up and play baseball,’” Beattie said in an interview over the phone. 

If the Lions’ remaining 27 games are canceled, Beattie said he will not understand the reasoning behind the decision. 

“I was just kind of devastated by the news in terms of I feel like we should be able to play,” Beattie said. “I honestly don’t understand why it would cause us not to be able to play, but that’s just my personal opinion.”

Graduate student pitcher Brian Fisher is also in his final season of eligibility and said the team had a strange feeling going into its game against Framingham. 

“Going into the day and going to the game it kind of felt a little different,” Fisher said in a phone interview. “I felt like everyone was just a little distracted, and the guys just had a weird feeling around the game.”

Freshman infielder Thai Morgan and Freshman catcher Matt Nachamie have appeared in all 10 of the baseball team’s games this season and hope the season continues. Nachamie said he saw this news coming when other schools in Massachusetts began to announce closures.

According to a statement released by Tufts University Tuesday, the New England Small College Athletic Conference will cancel league and championship play.  

“Most of the other schools in our conference, such as Babson and MIT, closed down for the semester,” Nachamie said in an interview. “We kind of knew something was coming, but we didn’t really expect it to come this fast.”

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced Monday that visiting teams will be asked to only bring essential personnel and team members to future sporting events. Morgan said he would not mind the Lions implementing similar plans. 

“Some teams are playing without crowds, and our games don’t get crowds anyways,” Morgan said in an interview. “If we’re able to play, I think we should play.”

Men’s volleyball sophomore setter Josh Elliot said he hopes the season continues, but he is also concerned of the impact this will have on his teammates. Senior setter Lucas Raagas is the only senior on the Lions’ roster, and Elliot said he wants to see his teammate recognized on senior day.

Elliot said Berklee College of Music student and outside hitter for Emerson Danny Darress faced a difficult decision whether or not to go back to his home city of Long Island, New York, because if he did Berklee would require him to quarantine himself for two weeks. 

Men’s lacrosse sophomore midfielder Alex Hrisanthopoulos is concerned about how online classes will impact his studies. 

“For me, specifically, cinematography courses, where I want to handle the camera, that kind of stuff is really hard to learn online,” Hrisanthopoulos said in an interview. 

Hrisanthopoulos said the lacrosse team is trying to keep things positive by joking and sharing memes in their group chat. As of now, Hrisanthopoulos said the team is still planning to play its remaining two games this week. 

Despite the mystery surrounding Emerson’s athletic programs, Beattie said the baseball team is determined to seize any opportunities they have left to play.  

“If there was any opportunity possible to play, I promise you, and I think the 26 or 27 other guys on the team with me would definitely agree with that we’re all more than willing to play,” Beattie said.