It didn’t hit senior business major Jake Frederick that his senior lacrosse season was canceled until he and his team left his coach’s office.
“What do we do now?” Frederick and his teammates asked one another, stunned at the abrupt cancellation of their 2020 season due to concerns about the coronavirus.
When Frederick arrived at the University of Dallas as a freshman, he was driven to see the lacrosse program grow and make the team more competitive.
“I’ve been committed to this team since day one,” said Frederick. “My goal for being on this team was to help grow this program, but [also] to look back, you know, when I’m 50 years old or something, and say that I was part of a program that grew, and hopefully wins a championship someday. I’d love to be part of that alumni group.”
Since then, his team has had three coaches in four years, and he has seen the team fluctuate in numbers. There were only 12 to 14 players on the roster his freshman year, making it difficult to field the 10 necessary players. Despite perpetually adjusting to the difficulties of ever-changing coaches and a short roster, Frederick said that the players are very close.
“We’ve been such a tight-knit group,” said Frederick. “I’ll be friends with these guys for the rest of my life.”
The news that their 2020 season was canceled was a shock. But Frederick said that the team will still foster their sense of solidarity.
“We’ve kept in contact with one another, strengthening this friendship,” said Frederick. “As a group, we can still grow in our bond with one another and go to battle with each other next year.”
Fortunately, the cancellation doesn’t mean that Frederick’s college lacrosse days are over. In fact, due to an injury in his freshman year, Frederick already had an extra year of eligibility. If the NCAA offers an extra year of eligibility to players affected by the cancellations, he would have the opportunity to play for a sixth season, although Frederick doubts that he would use it.
Frederick has high hopes for his final season next year. In 2019, the team qualified for its first SCAC lacrosse championship, although they lost in the first round. Frederick hopes to continue to qualify for the event and eventually come out as champions.
In the meantime, Frederick will continue training.
“I’ve been going out to the field, hitting the wall, going shooting at the lacrosse field … making sure I’m six feet away from everyone else while I’m doing it.”
Social distancing measures make practicing the game itself difficult, if not impossible.
“If you’re trying to work on one on ones, and dodging to the goal, and trying to score, it’s difficult to stay outside of six feet to one another when you’re trying to guard one another.”
Frederick looks forward to the day when he does step back on the field to compete.
But until then, “I just hope everyone’s staying safe and healthy,” said Frederick.