Former Wilson athletes face delayed collegiate seasons due to COVID-19

Julia Weinrod

Across the nation, a large number of sports seasons have been either canceled or postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In addition, numerous colleges have chosen to offer virtual classes or send all their students home for the semester due to the ever-rising number of COVID-19 cases. The result is that most college athletes cannot play the sports they love.

This fall, several former Wilson athletes intended to join or return to their college sports teams. Eric Gwadz, Maisie Arlotto, Avery Dunn, and Collin Bosley-Smith played at the varsity level at Wilson and then had gone on to join various teams at their colleges. The Beacon checked in with them to see how their plans had (or had not) changed.

Eric Gwadz has played soccer for Washington College since graduating Wilson in 2018. This year, however, Washington College is fully virtual, and his fall soccer season has been suspended indefinitely. Fortunately, he is able to live in an apartment close to campus and plays pickup almost every day with teammates to practice. “As of right now, there are talks of playing in the spring, but nothing is confirmed,” he says, echoing the words of athletes nationwide.

When Maisie Arlotto committed to play women’s lacrosse for Rhodes College last year, she did not expect the campus to be closed for her first semester as a freshman. While her coach has given her team workouts, she must stay in DC at least until the spring semester. Although she would rather be attending in-person, she understands the decision, saying, “It’s definitely not ideal, but I would rather my school be safe than for COVID cases to rise.”

A third student, Avery Dunn, had plans to be a coxswain for the men’s crew team at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) until the school announced that all teams could not practice. Since the vast majority of classes at UCLA are being offered virtually right now, Dunn decided it would be better to matriculate next year, hoping that all would be normal by then. Although she has no way of preparing right now, she will still be joining the team next fall. 

Finally, Collin Bosley-Smith is a freshman at Duke University on the varsity baseball team. He says, “We take precautions, but everything’s pretty normal.” Bosley-Smith was recruited as a sophomore in high school, so he has been planning to play with them for years. He has been lucky enough to continue practicing every day with his team, although there are no games yet. His classes are fully online, but he is living in an apartment on campus. 

These Tigers are greatly missed at Wilson, but they are off to bigger and better things. College athletes are not the only ones affected, though. Major league baseball and basketball, among other sports, have also had to postpone and shorten their seasons. Furthermore, every athlete of any age must decide how comfortable they are practicing with and competing against other people at this point.