University of Maine at Fort Kent
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Competing in the time of COVID
November 6, 2020 • Fort Kent, ME

UMFK Athletics Masks are on sale for $10. 
UMFK Athletics Masks are on sale for $10. 

Fort Kent, ME-- Student athletes came from all corners of the country and multiple locations around the world to play the sport they love, and to attend our wonderful little school. However, in the midst of a global pandemic, the students who make up our athletic teams have not had the chance to compete as they have in the past. With the COVID-19 pandemic postponing all Fall semester athletic competition, the lives of our student athletes have undergone a major adjustment.

“I’m still definitely enjoying my experience.” Said Adil Iggoute, a freshman from Germany on the Men’s Soccer team. “We can practice, still go to class, eat in the cafeteria and things like that. The school has been very safe so it has allowed us to still have a positive experience. It was a disappointment obviously to not have a season but having training sessions and the scrimmages was a great alternative.”

Searra Herbert, the Caribou native and Junior on the Women’s Soccer team echoed similar sentiments, “It was a bummer for sure to not have a season, I really miss traveling and connecting with my teammates off the field, but we have been training a lot in hopes of having a Spring season. We will be ready!”  

UMFK student athletes are trying to overcome multiple obstacles this semester due to the pandemic including taking multiple COVID tests, social distancing regulations, travel bans and trying to fill the void that a lack of competition has left.

Rachel Johnson, a member of the Women’s Track & Field team said in regards to the obstacles, “Not being able to work out as an entire team has been a disappointment, I miss warming up with the whole team and being around everyone. Not being able to travel due to a variety of restrictions has been a disappointment as well. We always have fun on the road trips.” Her teammate, Catherine Shelmerdine, made an incredible point about the major obstacle of filling that competitive void, “We didn’t have an outdoor season last year due to the pandemic so we are hoping we can have one this time around. If we all stay safe and do our part we can end this thing quicker.”

UMFK student athletes have been trying their best to persevere regardless of the obstacles in their path; that is what being a competitor and an athlete is all about. “Even though there is a lot going on in the world right now, we have to stay positive and keep a good attitude about keeping up our grades and staying in shape.” Said Ranika Guyton, a Senior Women’s Basketball player who studied remotely this semester. “We have to control what we control and be ready when it is finally our time to play again. I can’t wait to play ball.” Guyton continued.

With that sort of attitude, there is no doubt UMFK Athletics will overcome and remain in a great spot to be successful once the world goes back to normal again.