• 79°

PRCC soccer programs dealing with strange circumstances

The sports world is slowly starting to come back to life. It’s a story also reflected at Pearl River Community College where the men’s and women’s soccer programs are adjusting to the new normal.

Certain aspects of the offseason period have changed for the teams, but neither team has athletes on campus during the summer, so instead the heads of those programs will hope the players return to campus with good fitness levels come August.

The summer workouts will be individually based and consist of regimens put together by the staff.

“What’s changed a little bit for us is we’ve had players reach out earlier asking for things to do. They’ve seemed a little more motivated, which probably has to do with them being stuck at home,” Men’s Coach Drew Gallant said.

In the past both teams hosted high school team camps where squads come to the campus and work with the staff and players at PRCC.

However, those camps are prohibited as part of COVID-19 guidelines, so the teams are losing out on not only a significant source of income, but also the chance to see a plethora of potential recruits in person.

The financial impact of the lost camps can’t be understated.

“Obviously it does have a big impact. We just finished a new fieldhouse and we were looking at building lockers in there and that’s going to have to wait unless we can raise the money in a different way,” Women’s Coach Henrik Madsen said.

To make up for the loss of the high school camps the programs decided to put together an ID camp, which will consist of players with birthdays in between 2001 and 2006 who haven’t been signed by a college.

The point of the camp is to bring in at least some potential prospects who normally would’ve taken part in the high school team camps.

This will give coaches the ability to scout potential prospects, but the camp won’t be able to fully replace the benefits of having numerous team camps.

“It was nice for team camps because we got to bring in (returning athletes) to help with the other girls, so they could meet each other and form friendships,” Madsen said.

Both programs are looking to start within the first couple of days in August, but that’s subject to change depending on how the pandemic improves or worsens over the coming months.

If the date holds, it’ll have been months since the athletes took part in organized team activities, which means its imperative the players stay active until they return to campus.

Otherwise the teams will have to take the time to recondition the athletes, which means less time spent working on skills and strategies.

“The biggest concern will be their fitness levels and strength levels.”

“They just haven’t played and been as active, so that’s our biggest concern is coming into preseason and (the athletes hopefully) be relatively fit so we don’t have to worry about injuries,” Madsen said.