By Kyle Daubs
It’s been a quiet 2020 for Lake Land athletics.
COVID-19 wiped away the school’s baseball and softball spring seasons. Volleyball, typically played in the fall, was moved to next spring. By now, we would have glimpsed the men’s and women’s basketball programs, but those seasons are currently paused as well.
Despite the uncertainty, the basketball teams have been working since the start of the fall. But this is the last week of contact days.
“The NJCAA has given 60 days of practice this fall that will be complete this week for us,” said men’s coach Julian Larry. “We will continue with our eight hours a week of practices once our 60 days are up. We are getting better every day, preparing ourselves for the start of the season in January.”
Basketball can resume Jan. 4, but projected start date for games is uncertain.
With talks of another shutdown in the state of Illinois, women’s coach Dave Johnson has said the team is focused on the present.
“Yes, I do worry that we will not be able to get started in January,” said Johnson. “We will stay optimistic and keep working towards that first game.”
Larry said he has prepared his players for most scenarios.
“Through this process, we have been fortunate enough to practice since the beginning of the semester,” said Larry. “We have been telling our guys since August that this season will be one with adversity and obstacles so they understand that and have done a great job at getting bigger, stronger and faster through these times. We know that it’s a marathon and not a sprint so we are preparing ourselves for when the season starts.”
Johnson remains hopeful that another season does big get cut short.
“Not exactly sure how it will affect our program, but I’m hoping that we would be able to pick up where we were before this started,” said Johnson. “It’s very hard to say.”
Larry said he’s worried the increase in Covid cases might jeopardize the season.
Said Larry: “We tell our guys that you can only control what you can control and what we can control right now is becoming better students, basketball players and men.”