Dan Piersma, Assistant Sports Editor
On March 16, the lives of thousands of Utica College students changed. In a campus-wide email, President Laura Casamento announced UC would switch to full online classes for the remainder of the semester due to the coronavirus pandemic, joining hundreds of other higher education institutions nationally.
With this came the suspension of all spring sports.
Seniors left their classes for the last time without knowing it and student-athletes who have played their last sports in college
“I’m at a loss for words. I am sad and angry because I took the sport for granted.”Miranda Cuda, Senior and UC golf player
Senior Miranda Cuda, who plays on the golf team, said she feels heartbroken and robbed, a shared feeling among many of her fellow athletes.
“I’m at a loss for words,” Cuda said. “I am sad and angry because I took the sport for granted.”
What’s more heartbreaking for her, she said, is that she helped start the girls golf team.
“This was a huge year for us seniors,” she said. “We were the only three that played all four years of the program’s history so to have that taken away is unthinkable.”
Athletics aren’t the only thing these seniors lost, however. Some of them are slated to graduate.
“Something I worked my whole life for, my final season, and in the blink of an eye it was taken away. When I got home that night I couldn’t sleep. I was in disbelief.”Zack Hillel, Senior and UC baseball player
Not knowing, they walked into class and saw their friends and professors for what ended up being the last time, initially thinking they were just getting ready to go on spring break.
“I wish I knew sooner that it was going to be one of the last times I saw my friends, professors, coaches and classmates,” Cuda said. “Again, I think I took it all for granted because I was under the impression that we had at least two more months left.”
For baseball and softball players, they would normally be looking forward to spending their spring break in Florida to kick off their training. The trip followed suit with the rest of the cancellations up to this point.
Senior Zack Hillel said he still doesn’t want to believe it. Hillel has been on the baseball team all four years of his college career.
“From the baseball aspect it’s definitely been weird and it felt like it’s a nightmare that turns out to be reality,” Hillel said.
Hillel said players work hard just to participate in college athletics and once they make the team, the training only makes it harder, yet rewarding.
“Something I worked my whole life for, my final season, and in the blink of an eye it was taken away,” he said. “When I got home that night I couldn’t sleep. I was in disbelief.”
Many had been optimistic that, while things were being postponed or canceled, the season would still go on.
Senior and softball player Alyssa Samborin recalled when she and her team found out that their season was over.
“We used the practice to pack equipment for Florida because we were leaving the next day,” Samborin said. “At the end of practice, Dave Fontaine came to discuss that our spring training trips to Florida were canceled.”
“To know that I will never get to play the sport competitively again and not get proper closure is heart-wrenching. You always look forward to walking away on your own terms.”Alyssa Samborin, Senior and UC softball player
Samborin has played softball for 17 years. She said she finds it gut-wrenching that the opportunity is gone without her being given any choice.
“To know that I will never get to play the sport competitively again and not get proper closure is heart-wrenching,” Samborin said. “You always look forward to walking away on your own terms.”