NESCAC Returns to Conference Competition this Spring

The presidents of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) recently reached agreement on a return to spring conference competition, which will allow Colby’s baseball, softball, lacrosse, crew, tennis, golf, and track and field programs to compete this season. 

The exciting news came nearly one year to the day when Colby’s spring athletes lost the opportunity to compete last year. 

“Our primary focus remains protecting the health and safety of the entire community,” said Vice President and Harold Alfond Director of Athletics Mike Wisecup. “We have established rigorous protocols that go beyond federal, state, and NCAA regulations, and are informed by our own experiences as one of the first colleges to successfully bring its community back to campus.”

These regulations include a policy of no spectators from outside of the Colby campus community. However, Colby Athletics is offering exciting ways for alumni, families, and community members to live stream games from home, stay connected to their favorite teams, and virtually step inside some of Colby’s new venues, including the Margaret M. Crook Center and O’Neil | O’Donnell Forum. Most live streaming is likely to be available through Northeast Sports Network (NSN).

“Returning to regular competition means so much to our student athletes,” said Head Softball Coach Terren Allen. “We are thrilled to finally be able to share this experience with our fans, in person when it is safe to do so and virtually until then.”

In addition many of Colby’s winter teams had a late-season opportunity to return to competition. In an historic moment for the entire Colby community, the women’s and men’s basketball teams as well as the men’s and women’s ice hockey teams competed in their first nonconference games in the Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center, and four Nordic skiers recently competed at the NCAA Skiing Championships.

“We do not take these opportunities lightly,” Wisecup said. “Our athletes, coaches, and administrators have been preparing for this moment throughout the year and I am proud to say that we are ready.” 

The baseball and softball teams returned to the diamond last weekend, playing two nonconference games each. The contests provided a new sense of excitement for the student athletes. 

“The team was buzzing all week and had so much fun playing together and competing again. We have a lot of great potential and I’m so excited to see what we can do with it this season,” said Lolo Niemiec ’21, a captain of the softball team. 

“It was awesome for all of us to be back together again,” said baseball captain Ryan Hecht ’21. “Especially for us seniors, we weren’t sure if we were going to have this opportunity, making all of us even more grateful for this chance to compete. We’re incredibly excited we get to finish what we started when we came here as a group four years ago and compete as friends and teammates one last time.”  

Head Baseball Coach Jesse Woods says the team is thankful to be able to compete this spring. 

“This has been a challenge, but our group has leaned into it and now they are being rewarded for their efforts. They have been laser-focused on their development and now we can give the 2021 Mules a great experience complete with NESCAC baseball. Go Mules!” 

The full NESCAC statement can be found on the conference website and team schedules can be found at the Colby Athletics website.