The world has turned upside down. Why should Presbyterian College’s cross country program be any different?
COVID-19 has placed PC athletics on hold. Cross country coach G.J. Hudgens and his brethren are in the same spot as an old country singer: “I’m just trying real hard to adjust.”
Nothing has been announced or should be taken for granted, but Hudgens is leading his team based on the premise that a cross country season will take place later in the 2020-21 school year.
“We had ... team meetings over the past few weeks after the decision was made about our season,” Hudgens said. “I asked each student what would you like to do to help keep the team camaraderie together and the ideas ranged from picnics to team retreats. I don't know if I can do with them what I would like to try because keeping the team together is just as important now as it has ever been. They may feel slighted by what has happened, but it is our job to protect them and make sure we stay together as a team no matter what.
“Since we are in another preseason, we are largely trying to build them back up, and we want to get them built up to a good place before we do the speed work, which is what you do to get them to the peak. Since we aren't in a season for a while, we don't want them peaking too soon. As the semester goes on, I do intend to do some more speed with them and more hard workouts to help them mentally prepare.”
No handbook exists for what Hudgens is trying to do. Sports have never been uprooted in so comprehension a fashion befire.
“While I don't have the answers during this time I refuse to be beaten by these decisions, and I refuse to be beaten by a virus that has not only left my team limp but others,”Hudgens said. “We are going to make the best of this as we go, and we are going to do everything we can to prepare for something next semester.”
The primary cross country season is the fall, but the team normally competes in spring meets, as well.
“This is the first time in my three years here at PC that we don't really have a season,”Hudgens said. ‘When we have our normal cross country season, that's our fall season, and then when we manufacture a spring season as we still have meets, and treat it like a full season. This is the first time we've been stuck in kind of an extended preseason.”
“I also want to figure out a way to bring this team closer together in a world that's telling them to stay apart.”