SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va., – Shepherd University has just one winter sport for students and fans to follow, basketball. Both the women’s and men’s teams had been hard at work in the Butcher Center practicing in hopes of at least some the season, until the Pennsylvania Athlete Conference (PSAC) announced that all winter sports would be cancelled Wednesday morning.
The Butcher Center will still be making noise when athletes return from break for the spring semester, but it will be to the tune of conditioning, weight lifting, and visits to the training room.
While the basketball season has been cancelled, the athletes have seemed to find one positive to it. Their bodies will get some rest, especially the seniors and they have more time to practice and improve before they do get to compete.
Men’s basketball senior, Kyle Dagget said that while missing out on their season is extremely unfortunate, he feels like he has a new lease on his career due to the extended time they have to practice.
“My hope [for the spring] is that we can get back to a similar situation with what we had earlier in the fall; practicing, lifting, conditioning, meetings, etc. in the spring semester,” said Dagget.
All Shepherd sports were put on pause the week of Nov. 2, due to 17 athletes testing positive for COVID-19 after the surveillance tests conducted by the university revealed a few had contracted the virus.
Many athletes looked for alternatives to staying active during this period where they were not able to use the facilities they usually do on campus.
During this quarantine period for all athletes, Dagget said, “Cam [Stephens, also on the basketball team] and I live together at our townhouse, so we’ve been working out a ton since we haven’t been able to get in to Butcher.”
Sydney Clayton, senior on the women’s basketball team also stayed busy working out during this quarantine period by doing at home workouts and getting outside before it gets too cold for her.
“We have a weight room in our garage so we lift in there every day. We also jog around Morgan Grove park, and we’ve actually been throwing the football around the median a lot for cardio,” added Dagget
“Outside of basketball, I’m hoping my baseball guys get to have their season in the spring. They got cut off really early last season, so I’d love for them to be able to get back out there. Going to baseball games has definitely been one of my favorite experiences at Shepherd,” said Dagget.
“I’m most looking forward to spending time with my friends and hopefully getting to play just one more game in the Butcher Center in my Shepherd jersey with my family there to cheer me on,” said Clayton.
“That Butcher Center floor isn’t too forgiving, so I’m considering this break a little bit of a reset for my body as well. But in all seriousness I’m excited and hopeful to get back on the court and I know my teammates want the same,” noted Dagget.
Dagget has applied to the Shepherd MBA program in to play his final year of basketball in the 2021-22 season. If he is accepted he will begin his classes in the spring.
Clayton will also begin graduate school at Shepherd to be able to play in the 2021-22 season. She initially planned on going to a larger university but since she has eligibility she will stay at Shepherd to get in her final season as a Ram.
To stay updated on PSAC sports you can follow their Twitter for all announcements surrounding competition.