BEREA, Ohio – When the COVID 19 pandemic forced the cancelation of the remainder of spring sports in early March, it marked a time in college athletics that many had never seen before or will ever see again but for four Baldwin Wallace University athletic teams it was a time to step up.
Instead of focusing on what they had lost, the women's golf, women's lacrosse, women's soccer and women's volleyball teams came together and figured out what they could do to help others as well as stay connected as a team in this difficult time.
"It was National Doctor's Day when I thought of the idea for our team to do the video," said junior Academic All-Ohio Athletic Conference performer Rachael Sladky (North Olmsted). "Our coach, Andrew Edgar, contacted us about doing something to reach out to others and when I saw posts and videos all over social media of people thanking the medical staff that are risking their own health for the sake of their patients, I thought that this would be a good way for our team to extend our thanks."The team created a video with each student-athlete thanking medical professionals that are on the front lines risking their lives each and every day.
"We wanted to make a video that was short enough so that anyone working in the hospitals could easily view it and hear our thanks," continued Sladky. "This whole situation is so much bigger than any individual. It is easy to feel helpless staying home, but we need to remember those essential workers that are getting up and working against this pandemic. It is historically unprecedented, but you can't underestimate the power of a 'thank you.' I am excited to share the video and for the medial staff to hear our thanks."
Click Here to View the Women's Golf Video
"This has been a very disappointing and challenging time and I know that my team, coaches, and I are devastated by our season being canceled," stated senior All-OAC attack and team captain Brie Martineau (Strongsville). "During the last few weeks, we have done a good job staying connected with each other via group messages and Zoom calls. The team wants to remain active with our sport whether that be sending pictures/videos of doing stickwork and shooting, working out, or going for a run. Staying connected has been a big driver in keeping the team positive during this time since it helps with distractions and other stressors related to the 'stay at home' environment."
The team participated in the Last Shift Virtual 5k Race to raise money for the HEADstrong Foundation, which benefits cancer patients that are at the highest risk during the pandemic. #LastShift2020 gave lacrosse and all student-athletes a chance to lace it up one more time.
"National Student-Athlete Day was held on April 6 to honor and celebrate student-athletes across the country," continued Martineau. "We found out about the HEADstrong Foundation run through the Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association and by NCAA Division I women's lacrosse player Ally Kennedy of Stony Brook (N.Y.) University. This was a great opportunity for our team to come together virtually, even though we were apart, to participate in this run and donate to a good cause. The team was excited to take part in this run. We pushed each other to do and be our best and gave each other the support to finish."
"The team and I hope that there are other things in the future that we can do as a team to stay active while being there for one another to get through this rough time," concluded Martineau.
Each member of the team wrote letters to residents in nursing homes and senior assisted living centers to provide them with some cheer during a time when family and guests are being restricted.
"Our amazing assistant coach Tara Bowen suggested that we write letters and we all took it upon ourselves to make it happen," said junior Academic All-OAC midfielder Kaitlin McGuire (Gibsonia, Pa./Pine-Richland). "We realized that in a time like this, it is important to not think selfishly. A huge part of our team culture is to think about the team as a whole rather than see it from an individualistic view. Now, we are thinking of our community as a whole rather than ourselves. Making sure everyone feels seen and appreciated in this time is vital for us. This helps us extend our team culture further than just on the field and in the classroom. We believe this allows us to help our community stay positive."
"As a team, we decided despite not being able to meet physically, we still wanted to connect and remember why we do what we do," stated junior All-OAC and Academic All-OAC midfielder Kayla Webb (Brunswick). "The motto of Baldwin Wallace women's soccer is 'You with Me.' This means we all support one another and lend a helping hand, especially when it's needed most. This isn't something that we only strive for during a soccer game or within our team, but we strive to apply this to our everyday lives and the communities in which we live. In times like these it is so important to remember that we are all in this together. It is amazing to see that you can do something small to bring a smile to someone's face and let them know that they are not forgotten. This is one way to stay positive and be strong for each other. One thing that I will take with me from this team is that life is more than a game of soccer and certainly more than ourselves."
Click Here to View a Gallery of Letter Writing
Each member of the team is doing a video reading of their favorite childhood book and sharing it on social media for parents and daycare centers to share with their children.
"We created the videos of us reading our favorite childhood books as a way to keep our team interacting and to hopefully bring joy to others during this difficult time," commented sophomore Academic All-OAC defensive specialist and libero Izzy Moskowitz (Brighton, Mich.). "In addition, we did these videos as a way to remind people of simpler times while allowing us to remember all the fun and enjoyment we got out of reading them when we were kids. Reading them now that we're older enables us to not only remember those times but also lets us bring the books to life in our own way."Each member of the team is doing a video reading of their favorite childhood book and sharing it on social media for parents and daycare centers to share with their children.
Click Here to View Izzy Moskowitz reading her favorite childhood book.