Northwest Trapper athletes head home after ‘successful’ fall

Posted 12/1/20

After a few months of practicing and training, Northwest College student-athletes have left campus for the start of their six-week break from school.

Multiple NJCAA Region IX programs were unable …

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Northwest Trapper athletes head home after ‘successful’ fall

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After a few months of practicing and training, Northwest College student-athletes have left campus for the start of their six-week break from school.

Multiple NJCAA Region IX programs were unable to hold many practices or scrimmages, due to high numbers of positive coronavirus cases. With very few COVID-19-related pauses at Northwest, it was a successful fall for the college’s athletic program.

“It was really successful if you look at teams that we compete against,” NWC athletic director Brian Erickson said. “We had a lot of practices and scrimmages compared to most.”

Erickson said he thinks the school’s diligent pandemic plan — released in August — helped keep the college from a serious outbreak. For Erickson and the various coaches at NWC, it came down to practicing what they preached.

“Just emphasizing that from the top down was important,” Erickson said. “If student-athletes saw me without a mask, they might not want to put theirs on. As a group, everybody did a really good job.”

Between daily temperature checks and mask requirements at almost all times, it was a new reality for Trapper student-athletes. But just as the faculty was persistent in minimizing the virus’ effects at NWC, the student-athletes also did their part.

“They adjusted so well, understanding to wear a mask wherever they’re at,” Erickson said. “You’d think you might see pushback, but there was none of it. They understood protocol and were all for it.”

Almost every NWC program played multiple scrimmages this fall, and every team had ample practice time as a result of safe social distancing practices. Northwest’s rodeo program even completed a full fall season without any delays or postponements.

Erickson admitted that the student-athletes may be rusty when they return from their six-week break. But with how successful the fall semester was, the Trappers should be better prepared than most athletic programs.

“It’s going to help them,” Erickson said. “The break is a little longer than usual, but not having to start from scratch is going to be huge.”

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