The JJC Wolves softball team will finally be back in action this spring following the midseason cancellation from last season.
The COVID-19 pandemic that first surfaced in the United States a year ago put lots of things into uncertainty to protect the health of athletes. Organized sports everywhere were canceled or put on hiatus.
That was the case for head coach Emily Marino and her Wolves softball team. The now second-year coach was in her first year last season.
Wolves started out slow last season. It was a young team that lacked chemistry early on, and then they were hit with some injuries.
Marino hopes to see this season in terms of improvement from her team.
“For me, I think I want to see them develop teamwork, communication and overall resilience,” Marino said.
The decision was made to allow the Wolves softball team to play conference and non-conference opponents this season. With that privilege comes the responsibility to follow the COVID-19 guidelines to make sure the players and staff are being safe.
“If there is one thing the pandemic has taught us, it is you have to be able to adapt,” said Marino. “There may be times we are affected by the COVID protocols. We just have to accept it.”
Marino and her players are excited for the season to start, and like most teams whose seasons were cut short last season, getting back to playing will be a relief.
“This team has the resilience and toughness to face those challenges.” Marino said.
The Wolves will open the season on Friday March 5 at Kishwaukee College.
This year’s team is a lot different than the roster Marino had a season ago. With the NJCAA granting eligibility to players for the season they lost last year, and the addition of transfers and incoming freshmen, the roster is deep.
Marino and Wolves will look to return to a winning season, along with a return to the regional tournament.
“The team’s health and safety is always top priority,” said Marino. “I think as a team we are thankful for the opportunity to practice and play games.”