No NWAC Championships

EvCC Coaches’ and Players’ Outlooks For This Season.

Women%27s+Soccer+Team+Captain+Emily+Marriot+dribbling+the+ball+in+a+game+on+Sept.+21%2C+2019+against+Peninsula+Pirates.

Courtesy Photo from Daniel Acosta.

Women’s Soccer Team Captain Emily Marriot dribbling the ball in a game on Sept. 21, 2019 against Peninsula Pirates.

On Dec. 15, 2020, The Northwest Athletic Conference executive board released an update that there would be no championship contests due to the COVID-19 pandemic. See NWAC updates here.

Even though frustration and disappointment linger, EvCC coaches and players have an overall positive outlook on the season and are ready to battle to be North Regional champions. See EvCC Athletics here.

Reactions to NWAC’s Decision

Head softball coach Randy Smith shared his thoughts saying, “I understand the severity of the pandemic. I think they’ve [NWAC] done a great job trying to maneuver through this ever-changing situation we’re in. I am disappointed, but I am not upset with them at all.”

Head volleyball coach Whitney Williams had a similar view saying that as a new coach, she was grateful for the opportunity to play. The team could take time to focus on fundamentals and putting a system together, without worrying about wins and losses.

Athletic director Garet Studer agreed the NWAC made the correct decision with so many unknowns, it would be difficult to plan for a championship event that required year-round planning. He said that venues could not guarantee that they would be open for public use.

He continued by saying, “I know they [student-athletes] must feel disappointed. Our top priority is to ensure the health and safety of our student-athletes, and the NWAC felt that this was the best course of action with the information at hand. … [student-athletes] must have a ‘control what you can control’ mindset … This is an opportunity to compete without added pressures of ‘making it to the playoffs,’ focus on doing well in the classroom and really prepare the mind and body for next season.”

Training

As the days for competition come closer, rigorous training will remain for players despite not having championships to play for.

Head Baseball Coach JoJo Howie on March 1, 2020 at a game against Linn Benton. (Courtesy Photo from Daniel Acosta.)

Men’s baseball head coach JoJo Howie said they are trying to have a chip on their shoulders. They still want to be dominant and win games while taking care of their players.

Head men’s basketball coach Mike Trautman explained how the team’s training would look saying, “We haven’t changed much as far as our practice structure goes. We always try to have a lot of fun at practice. We have the music going, we are a very loud group, we have fun, we laugh and we joke. We sometimes make fun of each other and you’re going to hear a lot of ‘great jobs’ in our practice.”
Incentive and Team Morale: What To Play For When There Are No Championships

Women’s soccer team captain Emily Marriot had a positive voice about the NWAC’s decision saying, “We play for ourselves and play for each other as a team. Because every time we play … it just gives us another chance to improve on what we could have done better the previous time.” Marriot stated they were lucky to be competing during these times and that they were here to have fun while keeping their heads in the game and staying focused to win.

Smith agreed saying, “[You play] for pride, representing Everett and yourself. … You always want to do your best, and when you leave the program, you can turn around and say, ‘I gave it 100%.’ And you don’t have any regrets.”

Trautman said that the athletes are just happy to be able to play and that they’re able to come to practice and be with their teammates.

The Trojans will not battle for an NWAC championship this season. But no matter the outcome, the COVID-19 pandemic will not stand in their way of competing to be regional champions in the North.