COVID-19’s effect on sports throughout the United States
By Jared Watson
Due to the growing COVID-19 pandemic, one thing people could always count on for entertainment was taken away: live sports.
The virus spread throughout the United States this March, causing major sports organizations such as the National Basketball Association, Major League Soccer, and Major League Baseball to postpone their current or up-coming seasons in some shape or form.
Professional sports were not the only level affected, however. College and high school athletic programs would follow suit, canceling the remainder of their seasons to further prevent the spreading of the virus.
The NCAA voted to allow schools to provide spring-sport student-athletes an additional season of competition and an extension of their period of eligibility.
Freshmen athletes were also upset, realizing their first opportunity to play at a higher level was taken away from them. One of those athletes is Delaware Technical Community College first-year criminal justice student and baseball player, Sammy Muniz Jr.
“To hear the season was going to be cut short was nothing but a shock to me and all of my teammates and coaching staff,” said Muniz Jr. “It was really disappointing because ever since I was four years old, every spring until now I played baseball.
“The only bright side from my perspective is to use this time efficiently to train and practice on my flaws of this season to perfect them to help my teammates and I win more games,” said Muniz Jr.
Muniz Jr. has continued working and training to stay in game shape even though his hopes of playing ball are still far away from now.
“I run two miles every morning,” said Muniz Jr. “Later in the day, I go to a nearby field with my brother, and I have him hit me countless ground balls all over. Then, I work on my hitting drills, and the next day I long toss and work on more agility and shoulder exercises.”
Winning consistently, along with long bus rides home from away games, sharing stories, and laughing with his teammates are just a few of the things Muniz Jr.-- along with countless other athletes around the country-- will remember and miss the most during this unprecedented time. But if he can say anything to the seniors and freshman affected, he says not to worry.
“Everything is going to play out, so use this time in your favor and take advantage of it,” said Muniz Jr. “Work on what you want because no one is going to stop you.”