“I met with two other coaches, including the head coach (Mike Cerasuolo), and they all had that same energy that other coaches weren’t bringing,” he said. “I just liked the energy and the enthusiasm everybody brought, so when I chose it was like a no-brainer. I love the players and the team and it's a great school for what I want to study.”
Calderon is a sport management major and he saw how strong Springfield’s program was. He and McLaughlin were both drawn to the athletic focus at the school, with the sports teams themselves and the reputation of the sports-related majors that Springfield had.
McLaughlin, originally a physical therapy major, is now a health science major wanting to become an occupational therapist. Although she wasn’t positive what exact concentration of study she initially wanted, with Springfield she knew there were many options that all had strong programs. If Springfield knows one thing, it’s sports.
The 2021 seniors, who were so accustomed to this life of athletics, got the brunt of it. They were coming out of their junior year not knowing that they would not be able to compete in their senior season. It is an unfortunate ending to many careers, but one that was unavoidable.
“It’s definitely tough knowing that we’re not having a season. Especially for seniors, we’re done after this year. It's obviously not the ending we were hoping for, but we do have a very close team and we really are trying to make the most of it,” senior Alison Rushlow said.
Rushlow is a member of the women’s gymnastics team, and has continued a normal practice workload in the gym despite not having the future goal of a season still ahead of her. Gymnastics is a winter sport, so at the beginning of the school year, Rushlow and her team were waiting to hear what would happen with their season.
“We slowly saw one team after another cancel their season and then it eventually got down to, it was just us and Rhode Island College who were willing to compete,” she said. “As time went on, just COVID restrictions were getting stricter and RIC wasn’t able to compete anymore, so ultimately we had no one to compete against.”
Nick Monteleone of the wrestling team came to the disappointment in a much more sudden way. He recalls practicing one day and getting word at the end of practice that they would not be competing this winter.
“I literally sat there and cried in the room for about 15 minutes while everyone just went to the locker room,” he said. “It was really emotional for me.”
These emotions wash over the many senior athletes at Springfield College. Priding themselves on their hard work and desire to achieve such high goals, it has not been easy to watch them lose their final moments to compete. Their poise and grace, however, truly shines through, as they selflessly have worked to help make the rest of the team better for their next seasons.
“Now we [as seniors] go to practice, we’re retired, so we’re solely there just to help the non-seniors prepare for the season they’re going to have next year… I’m just trying to push them and help them get better,” Monteleone said.