A Flagler Athlete’s Journey in a COVID landscape

By Sydney Gorak gargoyle@flagler.edu

How the Coronavirus is Affecting an International Flagler College Student Amid the Upcoming Golf Season

For International Flagler College student, senior Kim Jakobs anxiously waited for months if she would even be allowed to return to campus in the fall and participate in the golf season. Jakobs was supposed to graduate in the spring of 2020, but she was granted an extra season of eligibility, which is now in jeopardy. Countless athletes in the NCAA are facing the same issues as the novel coronavirus rages across the globe.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues into the fall semester, clubs and activities are virtual, classes are transitioning online, and for athletes many ponder the unsettling question of; Will there be a regular sports season?

“The summer was really stressful, there are seven players and six of them are international. When Flagler announced they might switch to online, we didn’t know if we would be able to come back and practice,” said Jakobs.

Jakobs was born and raised in Luxembourg, Europe where she golfed all her life. She participated in golf clubs in high school and played tournaments internationally. The 2020-2021 golf season was cut short due to COVID-19. There were five tournaments in the fall and six to eight tournaments in the spring.

In March, many started talking about COVID as information was released on the news and through the school. For the golf team, many did not think that this would affect their season. 

“We were not really thinking about it and we were still practicing. No one thought the season would get cancelled,” Jakobs said.

Then, the week before spring break came and all of Flagler’s competitors started cancelling their practices and tournaments. At this time, the Sunshine State conference cancelled their tournaments when COVID began. The Peach Belt Conference announced they were trying everything in their power to have a season in 2020.

During the middle of March, the golf season was officially cancelled. For Jakobs, she was a scholarship athlete at Flagler for golf.

“I was really sad about it because the last tournaments of the season are the best ones, we practice all throughout the fall to prepare,” Jakobs said.

Over the summer, the NCAA announced that athletes are allowed to return to campus with the same scholarship with another year of eligibility. 

For the upcoming golf season, practices require masks and for athletes to follow social distancing guidelines on and off the field. Tournaments will look a bit different this year too. The golf team will be participating in fewer tournaments and playing against different schools. 

Many golf teams in Florida that used to be in the same conference as Flagler have cancelled their seasons. This year the golf team will be competing against mostly teams outside of Florida.

“I’m so happy to play but it’s a different feeling playing with different schools and it’s a longer drive,” Jakobs said.

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