Like all other schools across the country, Piedmont College has been dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 virus. However, unlike some schools Piedmont College has committed to allow its students back on campus and is working diligently to keep everyone as safe as possible.
Among those changes was shifting fall sports to the spring semester. The decision was not made alone, but also by the USA South Conference, working on guidance from the NCAA. This change especially impacted fall student-athletes.
“It was a little heartbreaking to hear that our season was being moved to the spring,” said Olivia Justus, a junior mass communications major and soccer player. “A lot of the players, including myself, trained all throughout quarantine and the summer to get ready for this season. Things are still up in the air on whether we will get to play games or not (since) other schools have different COVID-19 policies, so we may not get to play as many games as we would like.”
The challenge of scheduling is on that falls on
Piedmont’s Athletics Director Jim Peeples. His job has become more complicated, especially when it comes to scheduling the soccer/lacrosse field that suddenly is needed by four teams in one season: men’s and women’s soccer, and men’s and women’s lacrosse.
“It’s a puzzle, with many pieces at this point in time,” he said. “We are trying to do everything we can to try and fit all sports in the spring.”
Like Justus, Peeples acknowledges that part of the challenge is taking into consideration what other USA South Conference schools are doing.
“One of the many puzzle pieces is that several schools within our conference (USA South) are online for school,” he said. “And so far there is no solid plan in place as to how fall sports will be able to fit into the spring.”
But Peeples is committed to allowing fall sports teams to have a season of play.
Although competition is limited, there is some action of Piedmont’s playing fields.
Practices have begun for some sports like soccer, lacrosse, softball, and baseball. The number of athletes at practice has been limited to a certain number for an hour at a time.
For women’s soccer at Piedmont that is great news. The Lady Lions of Piedmont’s women’s soccer team over the past three seasons has gone (47-12-5) 47 wins, 12 losses, 5 ties during the regular season. They have also gone (19-3-1) 19 wins, 3 losses, 1 tie within conference play. They have also gone on to win a conference title and made an appearance in the Division 3 NCAA tournament. The Women’s soccer team has arguably been the best overall team at Piedmont College during their dominating run. So, it is expected they would be eager to get back on the pitch (soccer field) and continue their dominating run.
“As a team, we are staying positive in hopes of having another winning season in the spring.”