Sports during the pandemic: An inside look at Saluki fall teams’ plans moving forward

By Janae Mosby, Madison Taylor, Staff Reporters

The MVC announced on Aug. 14 that all fall sports competitions will be pushed back to spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Southern’s football, volleyball, soccer and cross country teams have all postponed their fall competition until spring semester. 

SIU head football coach Nick Hill gave a press conference on Aug. 18 to update fans and media on what football will be doing now since they will not be competing this semester. 


“I think right now, with Saluki football, we’re obviously disappointed that we’re not playing,” Hill said. 

Senior wide receiver Landon Lenoir looks at this break as an opportunity to improve.

“It’s disappointing that we can’t have a season in the fall but I just use this as a time to get better, work on my craft and work on being a better teammate,” Lenoir said. 

Hill is focusing on staying positive and keeping the players healthy during this break. 

The football players had taken over 400 COVID-19 tests and only one has come back positive, Hill said. 

In preparation for the spring season, the football players will be doing some individual workouts since they cannot come together as a full team yet, Lenoir said.

To keep the team ready for spring competition, Hill said they are going to keep training and keep getting better. 


“We can lift weights, we can train, we can get stronger and we can get better. […] This could be a positive thing, you get extra time to be at your best,” Hill said. 

Usually, when not in season, the team gets eight hours a week for strength and conditioning and two of those hours can be meetings and in season, they get 20 hours a week, Hill said.

They are still working through how this is going to look because of the coronavirus, but they will be doing everything they can safely do to keep the team in shape for spring. 

The SIU cross country team has been preparing for practice and getting ready for the spring season. 

Each athlete is taking the necessary steps in order to compete in the spring season.

Saluki cross country head coach Kevin Cataldo spoke about the team’s preparation process.

“All our athletes had to go through quarantine, COVID education and a COVID test. Once we get the results back from that we’ll move into getting physicals,” Cataldo said. “Then we will officially start practice. So we’re hoping for next week, we’ll officially start practice and kinda move forward that way.” 

The team has not had a chance to practice together yet, but the players are ready to get the season going.

Senior cross country athlete Chris Edwards said that he is looking forward to things hopefully getting back to normal and getting to compete again. 

“I know we all came here to compete and that’s been stripped away. It’s pretty hard on a lot of us, me included,” Edwards said.

No one knows exactly how the season is really going to look and it may be transitioned into track and field season. 

With the season being moved into the spring, questions have been raised of “will the competition be harder this year?”

Junior cross country athlete Grace Mcdurmon said that she feels like there’s a possibility people will put more on the line,  just knowing that everything isn’t given and seasons aren’t always going to come.

“[With] it being my last year and being able to improve myself and prove to the coaches they didn’t make a mistake when they gave me a shot here so I really hope I can get that opportunity,” Edwards said.

Staff Reporter Madison Taylor can be reached [email protected]  or on Twitter at taylorm08. 

Sports reporter Janae Mosby can be reached at or on Twitter at @mosbyj.

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