It was hot and sticky out on the practice field at Xavier, the norm around here many days in the summer, but who’s going to complain this year. Not after being cooped up by COVID-19.
Xavier athletes in football, soccer and cross country started conditioning programs this week, mindful of social distancing, use of masks and sanitizer, and working out in small group cohorts. Despite the humidity, despite the precautions, it was simply good to be back.
No matter the sport. No matter the athlete.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said quarterback Drew Kron, who started as a sophomore last year. “I’m happy to be out here with the guys … to be able to train with them and see them. I hadn’t seen them in so long. It’s a good team-bonding experience. I’m glad we’re able to work together and get ready for the season.”
It’s still uncertain how the fall season will play out in Connecticut. But one thing is certain: Xavier athletes will be prepared.
“It is really nice to be back,” football coach Andy Guyon said. “It doesn’t matter what the rules and conditions are. We are going to follow the rules. It’s simply nice to see players and interact with them and get ready for a season, whatever that season will be.”
Yes, it was hot and sticky out there but who cares?
“It was good to get back to work, see the guys and get a little sweat going,” said Kevin Gilhuly, who will be a junior.
Both Kron and Gilhuly made high honors for the fourth quarter, which was online distance learning.
“It was definitely challenging,” Kron said. “You had to figure out what you had to do personally to be able to succeed at home. It’s different for everyone. One thing I’d so is wake up early and get it done early, so I was on top of everything and just go from there.”
That also left time for other important things.
“I worked out with weights every day, and I’d run around neighborhood, so I was able to stay in shape and get stronger,” Kron said.
Gilhuly figured out how to get the job done to the highest degree, too, but said he missed that daily interaction and the conversations with friends in the dining hall. As the players walked up the path from the practice field to the back parking lot, those conversations were renewed, masks and all.