College Ball During COVID-19

baseball on dirt

My friend, Gino Hutchinson plays college baseball and when I asked him about this upcoming season he said, “It’s not going to be the same.” The college sports world has been crazy these past few months in deciding whether or not teams are going to play, especially for bigger sports like football and basketball where most the money comes from. If these were not played this year, colleges would lose millions of dollars.

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Covering Sports During a Pandemic

Empty stadium

March thirteenth, 2020, is the day sports changed forever. Games and tournaments were canceled. Seasons were put on hold. The future of youth, college, and professional sports across the United States was in jeopardy. It threw a curve-ball at people who work in sports and millions of other Americans who lost their jobs due to COVID-19. It has been many long and uncertain months with roadblocks along the way.

The NBA, NHL, NWSL and WNBA just wrapped up their seasons this past month in a bubble format. No positive cases were reported from any of those four bubble environments. And this fall, football is at center stage. There has been a handful of cancellations in both college football and the NFL, but both have not shut down completely, yet, which is a positive sign.

The protocols at all levels have been high but the consequences of the pandemic could have a lasting impact.

I have covered high school sports since 2015. I never could have imagined this. It could be a long time until things in the sports world are back to “normal.”

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Sierra Football: Winning and Staying Healthy One Day at a Time

Sunny sky and football players lined up in distance, cloud patterns in wavy shapes

Ever since March, community colleges, our country, and the world have been different. The COVID-19 Pandemic has taken its toll on everybody and it will continue to do so until a vaccine is invented. Now that it is right in the thick of football season, when is the Sierra College football team going to play?  With the NFL and NCAA playing on Saturdays and Sundays it raises the question as to when Community Colleges will start playing again.

Given the current state of the pandemic, it is uncertain when sports will continue at the community college level. To get a better perspective, I met with Sierra College wide receiver and quarterback duo, Matt Smart and Qyntyn Pilcher, on Zoom.

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Playing at a Different Level: The Success of the Sierra Football Program at Moving its Players to the Next Level

Four Sierra College Alumni. (Top Left) Brandon Aiyuk WR 49ers, (Top Right) Vince Mayle TE Browns/Cowboys/Ravens/Chargers, (Bottom Left) Devin Gray WR Falcons, (Bottom Right) Devante Bond OLB Buccaneers/Bears. Graphic by Alex Huddleston.

For most young athletes, the dreams and aspirations for their athletic journey end with performing their craft at the professional level. This journey can take many twists and turns. After high school, many highly scouted football players might get scholarships to play at a big name NCAA Division I University.

However, some of those Friday night lights heroes can be overlooked by the big schools and end up starting their college football career at a local community college. From there they have to work as hard as they can in order to be able to transfer to one of those big name schools.

According to the Sierra College Football official website, there have been ninety-three players who have transferred from the Sierra football program to a four year university since 2013. This does not include those who have or are planning to transfer after this year.

Four of these talented players not only made it to the next level, but they achieved their goal of playing at the top level in the NFL. On October 9th, I spoke over Zoom to Sierra’s own head football coach and the biggest fuel tank that pushes this program to its success, Coach Ben Noonan, about what his involvement is with getting these players to the next level.

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