The Student News Site of State University of New York at Brockport

The Stylus

The Stylus

The Stylus

Football team stays busy with season cancelled

Quarterback Keion Jones looks to make a throw during a practice this fall. (Photo credit: Mathieu Starke via Flickr)

All of SUNY Brockport’s athletic competition was cancelled for the fall season, while winter conference and non-conference schedules are delayed until Jan. 1, 2021. 

This was collectively agreed upon by members of the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) and the Empire 8 Conference, in accordance with the NCAA’s Guidelines for the Resocialization of Sport action plan 

In a fall sports announcement from July, the Empire 8 website stated that the continued evolution of the virus has presented significant new challenges for safe athletics competition.  As such, the Empire 8 Presidents Council has unanimously voted to postpone all fall competition in the sports of men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s tennis and women’s volleyball.” 

As a result, dozens of student athletes and coaches are left frustrated and disheartened. The football team may be the most upset, coming off of a successful year where it had an eight-game win streak, won the Empire 8 title for the third year in a row and made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament.  

“My initial reaction was disappointment,” junior defensive lineman Jordan Harris said. “I love playing with my brothers and I love the game of football. So not being able to play football for the first time in 15 years is tough.” 

Offensive Coordinator Steve Potter addresses some of his players at a practice. (Photo credit: Mathieu Starke via Flickr)

However, the team has moved on and the Golden Eagles are already fixing their eyes on preparing for when they can play again. On Tuesday Sept. 15, the football team began holding practices for the first time this fall.  

“We’re allowed to practice three days a week, so we’ve been going Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning for the past two weeks,” head coach Jason Mangone said. “Trying to take it one day at a time, one practice at a time and trying to get a little bit better. Obviously the rest of the country is doing the same thing. With the number of returners we have back from a year ago, and the quality of talent we should be in a good position to be competitive again next year.” 

In taking the field again, Brockport has had to adjust their training methods to be most effective while also complying with NCAA rules and regulations. 

“We have been practicing in two groups of 50 and wearing masks for the past two weeks,” Harris said. “There is a restriction for how many people can be on the field, so they fit everyone in a two-hour block where we do 45 minutes per group.” 

The Empire 8 claims that they are dedicated to giving student-athletes a serious conference regular season and championship tournament experience in the spring of 2021 as long as it is safe to do so.  

Two players are engaged in a block at a practice this fall. (Photo credit: Mathieu Starke via Flickr)

In the meantime, student-athletes at Brockport are attempting to process and understand the implications of suspending fall sports on their academics and eligibility.  

“This year does not count against me so I will be a fifth-year senior,” Harris said. “I’m excited to do my fifth year, I had to adjust my academics to make sure I won’t graduate early.”

Mangone and the Golden Eagles are trying to see the positives of the situation. Regardless of how the season plays out, his team will work to make the best of it.  

“We look at this as a team redshirt,” Mangone said. “Where we can come back mentally and physically stronger next year and hopefully continue the winning ways we’ve created.” 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Stylus

Your donation will support the student journalists of State University of New York at Brockport. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Stylus

Comments (0)

All The Stylus Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *