Dickinson has made the decision to move classes online for the rest of the semester. The campus is not open to visitors until further notice.
by Tony Moore
With colleges across the world holding classes online, meeting virtually for extracurriculars and suspending most campus operations, a new challenge has emerged: maintaining athletics programs in the face of social distancing protocols. Red Devil athletes are using technology to keep personal connections going, provide support and work out.
“Between the calls, texts and FaceTime and Zoom meetings, we have been in constant communication with our current players, our incoming recruits, prospective 2021 student-athletes and our basketball community of coaches at all levels—and especially our alumni,” says Alan Seretti, men’s basketball head coach, noting that he and his staff also have been supporting committed student-athletes and uncommitted recruits alike. “These circumstances have allowed us to try new things such as Zoom happy hours with alums and introductory FaceTime calls with recruits, which are things we will continue to do even after things return to a more normal schedule.”
Brad Fordyce, head football coach, has also been keeping in touch with players via Zoom while holding film sessions and virtual practice four days a week. And team meetings also include academic support, workout follow-ups and virtual visits for rising high school juniors.
Meanwhile, women’s lacrosse has begun "Yards for Yeardley," pledging to run 580,000 yards by May 3 in honor of OneLove, an organization that supports Yeardley Love, the University of Virginia women's lacrosse player who was tragically killed by her ex-boyfriend. They’ve also been taking group yoga classes online with local fitness center Ethos; having weekly video calls to check on academics, discuss community service and leadership initiatives; and doing strength-training workouts and skill-building exercises.
But in the end, getting together under current circumstances isn’t only about preparing for an uncertain athletics season.
“It's obviously been a struggle to try to stay as connected as we normally would during this time,” says Kim Masimore, head women's lacrosse coach, noting that full team meetings are more about seeing each other and having fun than accomplishing specific goals. “The team has spent a lot of great time reflecting and expressing gratitude for the time we had in Florida together on spring break. So for us, we’re not trying to recreate what we lost—we’re just trying to provide support and stay as connected as we can as we all navigate the grief of a lost season with the gratitude that we are all healthy and safe.”
Read more stories about how members of the Dickinson community near and far have responded to emerging needs and challenges during the coronavirus pandemic.
Published April 28, 2020