Credit: Santa Fe College Saints athletics

Sante Fe Adjusting to NJCAA Moves

There is still a chance to catch a basketball game at Santa Fe College this year. However, the NJCAA announced these sports will be moved to the spring. So, everyone will have to wait until then.

While on the Sportscene, Santa Fe’s Athletic Director Jim Keites commended the NJCAA for its decision. He said it showed that the organization prioritized health.

With COVID-19 cases increasing in Florida and nationwide, the unpredictability of the fall contributed to the decision. Keites said this decision is not exactly beneficial from any other standpoint besides health, and the NJCAA made the move anyway.

That being said, teams will be allowed to practice. The NJCAA has set practice times during the fall. At Santa Fe, sports will have to work around the school’s plans. Santa Fe’s policy calls for phasing things back in depending on the current situation in the area. Practice schedules will need to “take into consideration the institutional guidelines,” as Keites said.

Apart from that, fall sports can still prepare for their season. Keites explained these seasons could be more like the one softball has.  There will be something similar to a fall practice season and extended tryouts with actual competition in the spring. Because of how its play is set up, softball is one of the least impacted sports through all of this.

Making All the Sports Fit

Of course, it has its difficulties like scheduling. According to Keites, some coaches are already on it. The coaches, including ones from Santa Fe, who are working on a new schedule have managed to create a hypothetical one where basketball and volleyball can coexist. Since these sports share a facility, this is key to making it work.

Keites is confident in the people working on figuring it out.

How Players and Coaches are Handling the Situation

Keites said the hardest part of this break for coaches has been they can’t do what they love doing: coaching.

While it has been tough, the coaches fully understand the situation. Keites said “they look at the big picture,” and understand the health of others is at stake. What concerns everyone is the futures of their players. This situation is happening to them during what Keites called a “pivotal moment” in their lives.

While it is all out of their control, no one wants to see a young athlete slip through the cracks.

About Harrison Smajovits

Harrison is a sports coordinator at ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM WRUF. He served as a beat writer for Florida Gators football for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He also contributes to WRUF's Gainesville Sports Center segments and makes appearances on the Clash on Harp on Sports. Harrison has been a content writer for WRUF since January 2019 as well.

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