Beloit Buccaneers Are Back and Hungry
The Bucs are back. After not playing in the Fall of 2020: football, volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer and men’s and women’s cross country are back to competing. In addition to competing, spectators are also allowed. Of course some guidelines set by the Midwest and by the college.
The Midwest Conference wrote in a statement on Sept 1 that the conference “will resume its traditional competition format this fall.” “We are at a point where the membership feels confident that we can move forward with competition for our fall sports in a manner that looks a lot more like an ordinary college athletic season,” said Heather Benning, MWC Executive Director. This is exciting news for all our student-athletes.
As far as the spectators go, the MWC essentially said follow the rules of the host team. For our Bucs; everyone is welcome. Beloit College Athletics released a statement on Aug 31 saying “Beloit College and opposing team fans will be allowed at all athletic events.” Not only are fans allowed, but there are no capacity restrictions either. The more the merrier.
The statement went on to say that masks are optional for outdoor sports (soccer, football, cross country). And for volleyball, they are required because it is indoor. That also means spectators at football or soccer games, if they wish to use the bathroom or concessions that are inside, they must wear a mask. A little tedious, but exciting to have fans back in the stands.
The consensus from all the athletes is that it is great to be back. Cross country runner Aaron Holzmueller’22 said being back was “strange. Last time I ran a race was Nov 2019. It’s been so long. I almost forgot what my routine is before a race.” Women’s soccer player Taylor Goodyear’22 said “ we haven’t played a soccer game in 669 days. Felt great to get back out there.” A feeling not to be taken for granted.
That is what football player Emiliano Reyes’23 said, “I think it’s something you got to get used to again (realising you have a competition). Something you can’t take for granted.” While last year was a practice year Goodyear said “it was a year we can go back and practice the basic things. Things we don’t have time to practice during the games.” And that is why the Bucs may have their best seasons this year.
Volleyball had their first game last week, Regina Guehlstorf’22 said they “Felt like a whole new team. We clicked immediately, playing their role and felt like we were playing together for years.” That instant chemistry led to them winning in five sets.
Men’s soccer also played last week. Luis Rodriguez’23 said “They did absolutely great. They followed what the coach was saying and what we practiced. We’ve been preparing for this moment since last year.” They won 2-1, the deciding goal coming by a penalty kick.
Overall among all the teams, the morale has been extremely high. Each athlete said their team has had energy like never before. With the sting of last year, everybody is hungry and eager to compete.
As for the season outlook, everybody wants to win, and that is why you compete. But more importantly it’s just about getting better each day and improving just a little bit every time you lace up your shoes or cleats. As well as setting the tone for the new athletes. Showing them the Beloit way, being a good leader, trying to improve upon the bonds and relationships. It’s exciting to see the new energy and hunger for the fall athletes.