Hello again lax lovers! I am sorry about my long absence from blogging and podcasting. While a large portion of the country had nothing but free time to fill during the novel coronavirus shelter in place, my day job as a veterinarian was considered essential and I actually got busier! Although we are far from back to normal, with the dust settling from the initial shock of coronavirus and we get back to the business of life, it is time to get back to the business and fun of lacrosse!
Like all other sports, lacrosse was turned upside down with the arrival of coronavirus, aka, COVID-19, to our shores. Our spring youth and high school seasons were cancelled, as were college seasons. Thankfully, our professional leagues (MLL and PLL), while the seasons were delayed and condensed, still able to be played out, albeit without any fans like the rest of professional sports.
In most regions of the country, as reopening plans began in early summer, summer tournaments were able to be played, just pushed further into the summer season. COVID-19 measures were in place to get back to playing the fastest game on two feet, but most people (at least in my experience) were so grateful to be experiencing the normalcy that is summer tournament lacrosse, that they did not care…even wearing a mask in the height of the summer heat and humidity here in Florida.
The biggest group of lacrosse players that I feel for, however, are the so called high school “bubble” players on the college lacrosse recruitment radar; the boys and girls aged 16-18 who still had yet to commit to to a college lacrosse school. These are the players that may have been slow developers that had yet to break into the notice of college scouts, or at least scouts from schools which they desired to play for. The cancellation of college recruitment showcases they were counting on to have one last chance to show their skills on the national stage was nothing short of devastating.
Of course there were the high school and college senior that had their final seasons cancelled. The senior season in any sport holds a special place for an athlete as the culmination of a career. For a majority of high school seniors not slated to play in college, their last season of organized lacrosse ended after the first few games or for some, before the first whistle ever blew to commence the 2020 season.
For college seniors, the NCAA extended eligibility for another year for all players that lost the 2020 season which was a kind gesture. However, most seniors have since graduated and could not enroll full time to take advantage of the additional season of eligibility.
Let us all hope that through vaccine and herd immunity we can move past the COVID-19 pandemic and get back to enjoying so many aspects of our lives that we previously took for granted!
Dr. Roger Welton is a practicing veterinarian and well regarded media personality through a number of topics and platforms. In addition to being passionate about integrative veterinary medicine for which he is a nationally renowned expert, Dr. Welton, aka, Dr. Lax, was also an accomplished college lacrosse player and remains to this day very involved in the sport. He is the author of The Man In The White Coat: A Veterinarian’s Tail of Love, president of Maybeck Animal Hospital , runs the successful veterinary/animal health blogs Web-DVM and Dr. Roger’s Holistic Veterinary Care, and fulfills his passion for lacrosse through his lacrosse and sport blog, The Creator’s Game.