Cal Lutheran Coaches Prepare for Fall Season Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Paige Poggione, Reporter

As the COVID-19 global pandemic continues to change everyday life, the coaching staff at California Lutheran University is facing new challenges in recruiting methods and preparation for fall sports. 

“The biggest change has been the fact that we have been unable to host on-campus recruiting visits during such a critical time in the recruitment process,” Head Football Coach Ben McEnroe said in an email interview. “Recruiting is first and foremost on our list… building the program, depth is critical and we do need to replace some very critical players.” 

Fortunately, many of the visits for recruits and their families took place during last fall and early spring semester, so while late prospects will not get the opportunity, many prospects were able to get the Cal Lutheran experience before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down campus tours.

In regard to preparing for fall season, many of Cal Lutheran’s teams lift weights several days a week, and have a handful of practices during spring season. 

Although players can’t practice or follow regular lifting programs on campus, the Strength and Conditioning staff has worked to create home workout programs.

“Our Strength and Conditioning staff, led by Dr. Patrick Holmberg and Lucas Quinn, provided our players with various adapted workouts to carry out while students are quarantined,” McEnroe said in an email interview. “Everyone is making do with what they have, and I am confident that our guys are preparing to the best of their abilities for the season ahead.” 

Kellee Roesel, head coach of the Regals’ volleyball team, has been keeping in touch with both her team and the rest of the coaching staff to ensure that her players can maintain the program as well as possible. 

“Holmberg is the man. He is programming for kids depending on what they have at their disposal at home to work out with. We are meeting on zoom bi-weekly as a team,” Roesel said in an email interview. 

With no certainty regarding the end of California’s stay-at-home order, coaches are planning on business as usual for their fall seasons. 

“Until we hear otherwise, we are planning and preparing like any other season. The NCAA may or may not make some adjustments to our pre-season calendar, we’ll see what happens, but we are prepared for anything,” McEnroe said. 

Cal Lutheran is not alone during this time, as all schools across the country are also wondering if the fall sports’ season will be affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Roesel said that she has spoken to coaches from other Division III schools around the country about a variety of possibilities, some of the proposed options include moving the season to the winter or shortening the season altogether. 

As important as the season is, Roesel’s main focus is on her players’ well-being during this time of global crisis. 

“I am really just trying to check in with the team, see them and focus on their well-being and reiterating my love and concern for them and their families,” Roesel said. 

While COVID-19 has brought about great challenges and uncertainty, the coaches and players at Cal Lutheran will continue to work hard to prepare to compete as usual during the fall season. 

“I am really proud of our coaches and players and how they have just rolled with the changes, stayed extremely positive, and are ready for just about anything,” McEnroe said.