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PRCC men’s soccer gearing up for the start of training

Like other fall sports, Pearl River Community College’s men’s soccer season has been moved to the spring, so now the team will use this extra time to be in better shape mentally and physically before competition begins.

Normally the players only have a couple of weeks to get acclimated to the pace of play before games start.

However, with COVID-19 causing the season to be delayed, Head Coach Drew Gallant and his staff have more time to spend preparing the athletes for the season.

“I’m really looking forward to (helping) prepare the players for the spring with my new assistant coming in, see him work with all the guys and develop them for the season,” Gallant said.

The team is allowed 60 days of training and three scrimmages under the National Junior College Athletic Association’s COVID-19 guidelines.

Those training sessions are set to begin Sept. 8, but until then Gallant will have eight hours each week to spend with his players working out.

“We run a big weight program with our guys. That’s a huge focal point for our guys and helps make sure they’re staying active and keeping their bodies ready for when things kick off,” Gallant said.

The team will have a strict set of health protocols to stick to when the athletes start working out again following their arrival on campus this Friday.

Temperature checks will take place before athletes enter the field house, and because it’s an outdoor sport athletes will be able to maintain social distancing when working out on the field.

Players won’t be sharing equipment and surfaces will be sanitized between each use, but the nature of a soccer field allows for athletes to practice in relatively safe conditions.

“A soccer field is bigger than a football field, so we have a lot of space to keep the boys apart and enforce social distancing. And our managers are doing a great job of keeping everything clean,” Gallant said.

The delay in the season may actually benefit the program financially.

Because of the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the summer, PRCC wasn’t able to host the normal amount of camps it usually would.

However, it may be possible to make up that lost revenue because the season won’t start during the usual fall months.

With COVID-19 being in such a fluid state finding ways to make the best out of necessary changes is a way the program can continue moving forward during the pandemic.

“It may actually create opportunities to do fundraisers we wouldn’t traditionally be able to do. (PRCC’s women’s soccer Head Coach Henrik) Madsen and I have been putting our heads together to come up with ideas. We may be able to make up for it, but (the delay) is not going to hurt us more than it already did,” Gallant said.