Herkimer, NY - This week, the National Junior College Athletic Association announced that close-contact sports played in the fall will be played in the spring semester.
This news affecting Herkimer College and Mohawk Valley Community College
“To be honest with you, relieved,” says Pepe Aragon, Head Coach of the Herkimer College Men’s Soccer Team. “I'm President of the Soccer Coaches' Association so in any meeting I've been involved in, I've been very vocal with trying to push the fall to the spring. To be honest with you I think there would be too many disruptions in the fall season.”
“I just want to have a season,” said Jason Palkovic, Had Coach of the Herkimer College Women’s Soccer Team. “With the girls that we have coming back, we have a very good group coming back, and with the girls coming in, it's just one of those years that I think this could be a very special group. I'm just happy they're at least gonna try to make an effort to get a season in.”
Plans to begin preseason workouts in mid-August have now changed but they aren't counted out.
“We've been told that we can practice in the fall and that would be starting on August 15 but we wouldn't start that early. We would do something along lines of first day of classes on September 8,” said Aragon.
Eligibility and graduation dates are now questionable scenarios for student-athletes.
“I've got several girls that could graduate this fall. So now that we're not playing, they need to make the decision and most have already made the decision that they will come back and they'll come in the spring. It's a big choice, you know, to be done in three semesters, now you're going to put it off or take a couple classes in the fall and finish up in the spring when you could be transferring on to a 4-year school,” said Palkovic.
“We're assuming that there is going to be a season in the spring, you know, which that's not a guarantee. So it's a balance of how many credits an incoming freshman or a sophomore is gonna have to take depending on when the season is,” added Aragon.
So where do the Generals go from here?
“We have four all-American’s coming back and that's unheard of you know,” said Palkovic. “To get four is great but to have four that are back, I mean, it doesn’t happen and then with some of the all-state players coming in with their playoff experience, I mean, it's a good group and I just, I'm chomping at the bit and I'm crossing my fingers hoping we can still play.”
“How do we prepare? Right now we're preparing to practice in the fall and then get ready for our spring season,” said Aragon.
The NJCAA has also announced that winter sports have been delayed until January.