Bigger Than Sports: An athlete’s message to those affected by COVID-19
After playing sparingly as a sophomore and intermittently as a junior, this was supposed to be Sarah Gillogly's year to shine. And through eight games, it was.
The Monmouth University senior women's lacrosse player had already set career highs in assists and points and was sure to eclipse the eight goals she scored a season ago. But following Monmouth's 17-14 win over Wagner on March 10, it all came to an end. The COVID-19 pandemic had made its way to the United States and forced mandatory shutdowns from coast to coast. Colleges and universities were among the first institutions to close their doors and suspend all activities. On March 12, the NCAA announced the cancelation of all winter and spring championship events.
Gillogly is one of the thousands of college and high school seniors around the country who have had their final seasons cut short or eliminated entirely. The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association has not made a final decision on the status of the spring season and remains optimistic some kind of season can be salvaged, but as the calendar moves forward and schools remain closed that prospect becomes less likely.
These are obviously difficult and unprecedented times. Gillogly wanted to express her feelings related to athletics and beyond and, more importantly, share her thoughts on what is really most important.
To the Monmouth University Community,
"I want to offer an apology. I am sorry to all those who lost a season they worked incredibly hard for. I am sorry to every teammate who stood together day in and day out of practice, of scout, of lift, of conditioning. I am sorry to the coaches who gave everything to their team, who believed in our skills, who pushed us to our limits. I am sorry to our weight room staff who made us stronger physically and mentally every day. I am sorry to our athletic trainers who saw us through the pain that comes with being Division I athletes. I am sorry to our administration who have had to make unbelievably difficult decisions in these unprecedented times. I am sorry to our families and fans; your unwavering support does not go unnoticed. Thank you for your support, hard work, and love and I am sorry to all those in our community that make athletics their life.
From the outside looking in, the loss of only a season may seem minuscule. But for all those who give their lives to their sport, we know it is much more than that. As athletes, we have lost countless hours of hard work spent perfecting our craft. We have all lost time away from our friends and our families, dedicated to becoming our best versions of ourselves as students and as athletes. We are devoted, we are passionate, and most of all we are stronger than what we are going through right now. We are more than just athletes, coaches, administrators, and trainers. We are friends, we are family, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. The skills, people, and experiences we have gained by being Monmouth athletes amounts to so much more than could ever be taken away from us by the loss of a season.
We will overcome this. We will come back stronger and closer and with a deeper appreciation for our unique experience as college athletes. This is bigger than sports. This pandemic has caused an unfathomable amount of pain to everyone across the globe. We are living in unprecedented times and as such we must remember to have perspective. We must be kind, compassionate, and patient. We will triumph over this obstacle in the same way we have all overcome so many other hardships in our lives. And we can look forward to gaining so much more from this than we have lost. Use this time to train harder, to love deeper, to reach out to those around you who may also be struggling. This is bigger than us. Be strong not only for yourself but for those around you and stay safe."
Sarah Gillogly ‘20
Monmouth Women’s Lacrosse #8
Sarah Gillogly is a senior Marine and Environmental Biology and Policy major at Monmouth. She is a three-time member of the MAAC All-Academic Team and recorded 14 points in the first eight games of the season from her attack position.