Posted on: March 11, 2021 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

By Ethan Holesha, Sports Editor

The wait is finally over for baseball and women’s basketball at Moraine.

After uncertainty about their seasons, both sports officially started this week. This year’s stretch of games may be abbreviated, but the Cyclones will take whatever they can get. Just being able to play a game again means the world to them.

“It’s been a year since our team has played a game together,” says sophomore outfielder/pitcher Chris Villafuerte, “and the feeling of stepping on the field with them again is unbeatable.”

Both teams have gotten off to rough 0-2 starts, as there are still some kinks to work out. Neither team has had much time to prepare.

Women’s basketball head coach Delwyn Jones was pretty vocal about being thrown almost blindly into this season.

“We’re actually using the games as practice,” Jones said. “We had no time to really prepare. We have only had three practices before our first game and we are playing teams that already have 8-10 games under their belt.” 

Winning is not the only goal this year, though. Team chemistry needs to be built, and individual improvements will happen slowly but steadily. These are going to be two of the most important factors for MV athletes.

Sophomore guard Chelsea Cross attempts an acrobatic layup vs Bryant & Stratton College (WI) on tuesday night (Credit: Moraine Valley).

“I believe in us,” expressed sophomore forward Briana Sanchez. “But we still have multiple things that we need to take care of at practice and focus on for our future games.”

Building strong connections with teammates is one of the more difficult challenges of this specific season, but the players knew that coming in.

“I’m very proud of everyone,” said Sanchez. “They did their absolute best for us playing for the first time together since we received a lot of new players. I’m excited for our team’s chemistry to get stronger.”

The women’s basketball team has a 10-game schedule while the baseball team has a crowded 40+ game slate. Despite the jumbled up schedules, the attitudes of the players haven’t changed all that much from the norm.

Sophomore pitcher Brett Renken explained, “We’d always like to have our hopes as high as possible, but first I think we need to work on the little things, to make the big things even possible.”

As a squad, the baseball team plans on being above .500 and working toward a shot at conference and maybe even regionals.

With less preparation there’s always an increased chance of injury, so just being able to complete a healthy season will be a win.

“My biggest goal for the season is to stay healthy,” said Villafuerte. “The best ability is availability and I would love to go out there and play with the boys for as many games as I can.”

With the way the past year has gone, there is still no certainty that the full season will be played out. All it takes is one COVID outbreak for the season to be put on hold. That’s why the athletes are taking precautions seriously and savoring every moment they have with their teammates.

MV baseball had its first game of the season this past tuesday at Joliet Junior College (Credit: Moraine Valley).

Just having a season seems to be the ultimate victory for both of these squads. With so much uncertainty this past calendar year, some of these athletes thought they might have played their last competitive game for the rest of their lives. But with the right protocols and safety measures, they get to continue doing what they love.

“I am very excited that my young student-athletes are getting an opportunity to play,” said Jones. “That was the most important thing to me.”