(WFRV) – Padded practices in the spring are not the norm for Division 3 programs, but a return to the field this spring does bring some normalcy after an unusual fall.
“No, it’s getting back to normal because this is our world out here. Other than the masks, and the temperature checks, and that type of stuff when we’re together it’s really good,” said UW-Oshkosh head coach Pat Cerroni.
The UW-Oshkosh Titans, like the rest of the WIAC, saw their seasons wiped out last fall due to the pandemic. While they weren’t able to play games against opponents, they did get to practice. Something that has extended into the spring.
“It was kind of hard at first, practicing knowing that you’re not going to have a season We had a couple team meetings where we all got together and said ‘hey, it is what it is. We can’t change it.’ So, let’s just make the best of it,” said senior running back Mac Winkler.
“The fall was extremely forgettable. I don’t remember it, and I don’t want to ever remember the fall again. That was horrible. We had a great opportunity in December and January to understand the logistics of getting these kids tested, getting their tests uploaded, getting them ready for a practice. Since February when they returned It’s been awesome. We’re doing it, and it’s just good to be back home,” said Cerroni.
This spring is a great opportunity for the the Titans not only to get some sense of normalcy on the football field, but also to prepare for the next chance to compete against someone else.
“That stresses that every time we wake up we have an opportunity, we have a day that we can either make something out of it or we can waste it. We don’t waste days around here. We’re not looking back twenty thirty years and it’s like ‘man, I wish I would have did this.’ We’re not going to do that,” said senior defensive lineman Trenton LaCombe.
That opportunity certainly won’t be wasted by the seniors. The Titans lost just one senior during the pandemic, and have a large group coming back in 2021. Many of them putting a hold on their lives after college to finish their final season right.
“When we were sitting all together when our season got canceled last year, a bunch of guys could have graduated, could have started the rest of their lives. We all sat down and were like ‘hey, we should do this,” said LaCombe.
“A lot of the guys were scratching, trying to get that extra year and trying to figure it out with school and make it work, because we all have the same goal, you know. We want to win a national championship,” said Winkler.