By Hank Wickley
Spring break is celebrated by college students everywhere. It is a time for relaxation and vacation.
However, for the student athletes on spring sports teams, this time off means something different.
Cheer and STUNT, men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, baseball and softball all have this in common. All five teams will be traveling across the country to compete with other schools.
The cheer and STUNT team will be going to Oklahoma City for break. “We will be playing UT-Tyler, Drury, Independence CC, Oklahoma Baptist and The University of Oklahoma,” said head coach Michelle Sabourin.
Along with competition, the team has a few fun things planned. “We will be stopping in St. Louis on the way back and visiting the arch,” said Sabourin.
This trip marks the end of the STUNT season, and the beginning of the competitive cheer season, said Sabourin.
It may seem like a missed opportunity for student athletes to enjoy a week off of school, but many do not see it that way.
Sophomore cheer and STUNT flyer Jessica Hatcher (‘20) said, “I love it, it is nice being able to get the opportunity to travel with the team and spend time building unity and bonds between us.”
The men’s lacrosse team will be heading to the Raleigh Durham area in Virginia for a week. Head coach Michael Kinney said the team will be, “playing Ferrum College and Greensboro College before going to play Virginia Wesleyan over in Virginia Beach.”
The team has been preparing for this trip to kick off its season with a rigorous practice schedule.
“Luckily we’ve had a ton of opportunities to be outside because the facilities crew is awesome and keeps the field cleared for us,” said Kinney.
Off the field, the team has plans to watch some Division I lacrosse. “We’ll be close to UNC and Duke, so we are planning on catching a UNC lacrosse home game,” said Kinney.
The men’s lacrosse team opens its season at home on Saturday Feb. 17 against Illinois Wesleyan University.
The women’s lacrosse team is heading to Texas to play the University of Dallas, Otterbein University and Cleary University.
When asked what she thought about being unable to vacation for a week, sophomore defender Haylee Baetz (‘20) said, “I think it is a lot better than having a normal spring break.”
“I get to be with my best friends and play the sport that I love,” added Baetz.
The baseball team will be in Florida for the break. The squad will play the Milwaukee School of Engineering, Concordia College, Augustana College, Capital University and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
Preparation has been the key for this team. “We practice 4:45am-8am in the Rec Center Monday, Wednesday, Friday and one of the days on the weekend,” said head coach Jacob Sabol.
“Our pitchers and catchers report to practice earlier than the rest of the position players for long toss programs/pre-throw activities/arm care/bullpens/live outings, etc,” said Sabol.
For their downtime in Florida, the team has a few things planned, but most of the focus will be on competition, said Sabol.
The softball team will also be heading to Florida for break.
“We travel to Clermont Florida which is outside of Orlando and play 12 varsity and four JV games during the week,” said head coach Dennis Griffin.
As for time outside of games, the softball team is strictly business.
“They have one day off of which they usually spend it with their parents/grandparents either shopping, going to Disney, Detroit Tigers game or just relaxing,” said Griffin.