As we finish up another week of online classes, the unfortunate reality has begun to sink in.. COVID-19 has forced most students and staff off Northwestern’s campus, simultaneously ending the spring sports seasons of baseball, softball, tennis, golf and track and field.
In the Beacon’s first edition of Coaches Corner, some of our spring sports coaches took time to share their thoughts regarding this incredible situation and look toward the future. Special thanks to Coach Aaron Aberson, men’s golf; Coach Shane Bouman, softball; and Coach Scott Bahrke, track and field.
Aberson’s golf squad saw firsthand that life comes at you fast. As they were preparing to leave for the first tournament of the year in Las Vegas, President Greg Christy’s email came out.
“The whole situation we find ourselves in is just wild. We are fighting against something that we can’t see,” Aberson said about the pandemic, adding that the unknown is what seems to be causing the most fear.
He talked about the hard work his men had been putting in improving any areas of weaknesses found in the fall season and mentioned that, while they are one of the youngest teams in the conference, his guys have a strong desire
to excel and are “eager to show that they belong at the top of the GPAC.”
Bouman acknowledged that the season’s cancellation was tough since softball was off to a good start and attributed that to all Red Raider softball had done to build our program this season. He’s already looking forward to 2021.
“We have a great class coming in next fall to compete” he said. Having no graduating seniors this year means an already impressive Raiders softball team will just continue to improve.
In terms of recruiting impact, Bahrke said the extra time has allowed him the opportunity to reach out to recruits through a variety of ways since there is no official outdoor season this year. He also knows of a couple athletes who will be taking advantage of the extra year of eligibility the NAIA has allowed for spring athletes.
As track and field athletes find themselves so quickly in another offseason, Bahrke asks that his team members “persevere through” and “be there for each other during this tough time,” having faith that God is in control.
Something we could all take from the track and field crew during this time is their theme for the year, “NO FEAR,” coming from Deuteronomy 31:6: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”