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The Antelope

The Antelope

Tough decisions made across the country to cancel sports

The Antelope News Covid-19


Cancelled, done, suspended, and post postponed. Whatever way you put it; this is what is happening to athletics at all levels around the country including our own UNK sports.

Never in my life would I have thought I would see what is happening in our world and in sports, like what is happening right now. The only other event of my lifetime that brought this kind of fear and mayhem was 9/11.

Since being declared a public emergency on January 30, 2020, by the International Health Regulation Committee, there have now been 133,177 cases and 4,949 deaths worldwide as of March 12, 2020. Fear surrounding this mysterious virus is engulfing everyone, including the sports world.

We have seen professional sports leagues across the globe cancel their seasons, including the NBA, NHL, and the MLB.

On a more local level, the NCAA and MIAA has cancelled all winter and spring sporting events. This means all UNK athletics are done for the rest of the year.

Countless numbers of athletes who put hours into perfecting their craft, won’t get the opportunity to compete. Both the UNK wrestling team and the track and field team were set to take part in their respective national championships this week but due to the circumstances can’t compete.

For the wrestlers, they were a shoe end to battle for the team title this year after winning the Central Region tournament. Beyond that you have a number of wrestlers including senior Jarrod Hinrichs who would have been competing for individual titles at their respective weight classes.

“We had a lot of hope and anticipation going into this weekend,” said wrestler Matt Malcom. “Since they made the announcement yesterday, a lot of things have crossed my mind. It was very upsetting at first, but I think it was also something that puts a lot into perspective as well. There’s more to life than wrestling and I am lucky to have another year, but more than that I’m lucky that my family is healthy and to be where I am at in my life.”

Track and Field athletes Montrez Jackson (high jump), Tiara Schmidt (shot put and weight throw), and senior Tanner Barth (shot put) lost out on the opportunity to compete at the Indoor Track and Field National Championships in Birmingham, Alabama.

“The whole situation is surreal,” said Schmidt. “I speak for all athletes when I say that too much time and effort was put in this year, and previous years, for something like this to happen. However, I understand that preventing the spread of this virus is important and actions needed to be taken. I wish the conditions would’ve been considered day-by-day, but it’s out of our control at this point. My heart hurts for all athletes at this time, especially the seniors.”

One bright spot, out of this terrible ordeal is that the NCAA is trying to find a remedy to the situation of eligibility of athletes whose careers would otherwise be over.

“This has been a very crazy situation,” said Tanner Barth. “I have been working to compete at the national level for the last 4-1/2 years and having that taken away was

devastating and very emotional for me. The NCAA granting another year of eligibility for the athletes affected hopefully gives me the opportunity to reach my goals.”

On behalf of everybody at the Antelope, we are deeply saddened that so many spring and winter sports teams on the campus didn’t get to complete their seasons. We truly looked forward to covering all the sports teams during the spring semester.

It’s times like these, where we see sports take a backburner as we try to stop the spread of this virus and get back to a healthy society.

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