BW Women’s Basketball Team Has Another Challenge in COVID-19

Over the past few months, the Baldwin Wallace Women’s Basketball team has been adapting to a new routine in order to have a successful season on the court. This had to be done so that the coronavirus would not hurt the team’s season.

Cheri Harrer is currently in her 31st year as head coach for the Baldwin Wallace Women’s Basketball team. Harrer has had to acclimate with this new life in order to ensure everyone’s safety this season.

“The personal goal for the girls was to play every game and not have any games canceled on their part due to COVID,” said Harrer. “There is weekly testing. Masks are being worn in practice even when participating in the game. Social distancing and hands being sanitized a lot, equipment isn’t being shared and is heavily sanitized, the team is limiting their bubble, and nobody can come to see the games and players don’t go home.”

Assistant Head Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Cody Hartzler provided more information on safety precautions being taken this season. “There is a screening process, having temperatures checked and a symptom check. Everyone provides their own water bottles
and cleans them after practice,” said Hartzler.

The team also went through a lot of hand sanitizer and cleaning products this year for the safety of the players and coaches. “Sanitizing hands on water breaks was something we did. After practice, every ball is sanitized, equipment is cleaned. Harrer would switch up who is guarding who to prevent players from being in contact with one person for too long,” said Hartzler.

The Women Yellow Jackets have stuck to this strict routine to keep each other safe. Currently 7-3, the team is in second place or the Ohio Athletic Conference and will be heading to the playoffs.

Harrer and Hartzler have both taken something away from this experience of coaching during a pandemic. “I’m a planner, I like to plan things out. I’ve learned you better have plan A, B, C, D, and E,” said Harrer.

“You can’t take a single day for granted, we’re kind of forced to deal with things that are out of our control. Take every minute with the team while you can,” said Hartzler. Both of these coaches stated they are dedicated to bettering the team each season, even at the hands of a pandemic.

In the world of sports, teams often watch film on their games and from other teams, in preparation for the next matchup. “It’s harder to watch film because of limited room space for 20+ people. The girls were unable to stop at restaurants or eat on the bus during the pandemic. Having to order in more food rather than eat out,” said Hartzler.

In a normal season for the Women’s Basketball team, they would play a 25 game season with 18 conference games. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the team was limited to just 12 total games, all within their conference. If a game is canceled due to COVID-19, it would not be played at a later date. Luckily for the women, they haven’t had any cancelations this season.

Recruitment has also had to adjust this season. “In an effort to keep the bubble small, we haven’t been traveling for in-person evaluations. More high schools are providing live streams for us,” said Hartzler. “We just adapted, and feel really good with the class we are bringing in, we have five commitments and hope to bring in a few more.”

There are two games left for the season before the playoffs and because of all the precautions being taken the BW Women’s Basketball team will continue to play for now.