By Gabby Garcy ’21, Staff Writer
The student-athletes of St. John Fisher College have faced many challenges this past year due to combining seasons and new regulations. But just when the football team was about to begin their shortened season, the players voted three times to forgo it.
Sean Farnsworth, The Athletics Communications Coordinator shared the following statement via email, “Over the last several weeks, the St. John Fisher College Department of Athletics has engaged all members of the football team and our coaching staff in conversations about the viability of competing during the spring semester. As a result, the College has decided to forgo participating in competitions this spring in an effort to focus on a full 2021 season this fall. We remain committed to providing the team with opportunities this spring to train on-field, in the weight room, film room, and any other areas that our coaching staff feels will be useful in the coming months.”
According to football player Dan Purcell, the first poll was sent out by Bob Ward, the college’s Athletic Director. The team first voted that they still wanted to play. Due to limited capacity the teams’ practice schedules were irregular, with players having to miss practice because of class or other commitments.
“Because we were out of season, we had to work our schedule around everyone else’s. We didn’t have a necessarily consistent schedule every week,”said Purcell.
Hartwick College, one of the team’s three competitors for the season, dropped out of competition for the season. Team members reached out to the captains asking to re-vote about the decision to compete this season, and the team almost unanimously voted to forgo competition.
The final voting poll was sent out by Jennifer Granger, the Assistant Athletics Director/Compliance and Business for Fisher Athletics, to officially know whether the team would be giving up their season.
“It was very difficult hearing in the fall that we wouldn’t be able to play our season. I know we were all looking forward to this season,” said Purcell.“We were really motivated to get back out there and just play and line up against somebody else.”
The football team normally has two weeks of pre-season practice over the summer and trains seven days a week. They also lift three times a week during pre-season training. This spring the team didn’t have as much time for pre-season practices, according to Purcell.
“It was obviously a difficult decision for everybody… guys really took a lot of time to weigh their options and really truly consider what they wanted to do personally,” said Purcell.
There are multiple seniors returning for another year of eligibility this coming fall.