Amy Varckette and Rylan Davison are on the opposite side of the spectrum with college athletics.

Varckette, a Geneva graduate, is entering her senior season playing tennis at Slippery Rock University.

Davison, a Conneaut graduate, is an incoming freshman for the Mercyhurst University football team.

The county athletes found out late Tuesday they won’t compete in their fall seasons.

The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference released a statement in part that said, “The Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference voted on Tuesday, July 14, to suspend all mandated conference athletic events and championships through the fall semester in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Part of the release also stated that “fall and winter sports scheduled to begin before January 1 are impacted by this decision.”

Schools in the PSAC, which plays in Division II, include: Bloomsburg University, California University of Pennsylvania, Clarion University, East Stroudsburg University, Edinboro University, Gannon University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Kutztown University, Lock Haven University, Mansfield University, Mercyhurst University, Millersville University, the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, Seton Hill University, Shepherd University, Shippensburg University, Slippery Rock University and West Chester University.

Varckette, who had her 2020 spring tennis season cut short to COVID-19, wasn’t surprised at the announcement.

“I kind of expected it,” she said. “Our main season is spring, but I’m definitely sad not to play in the fall.”

By the time spring rolls around, and if that season takes place, it will be about a year since Varckette competed collegiately.

She’s getting her tennis work in, though, by playing in the Ashtabula County Tennis Ladder this summer.

“That definitely helps,” Varckette said. “A lot of players get me ready, but it’s different playing with the team.”

She said the cameraderie among her Slippery Rock teammates is disappointing too.

“I definitely miss my team,” Varckette said. “I’m excited to go back and see them.”

In the release, the PSAC stated about practicing, “The Conference and its member institutions will develop guidelines for all teams to continue individual skill instruction as well as strength and conditioning activities under social distancing protocols by the end of the summer.”

Varckette said the plan is for Slippery Rock to start the fall semester on Aug. 17 and be finished by Thanksgiving.

“Some classes will be online and some will be in person,” She said.

Varckette is scheduled to graduate in May. She’s majoring in biology with a minor in health care administration and management and is applying for graduate school to be a chiropractor.

But she would like one more chance to compete for Slippery Rock.

“I hoping for a somewhat normal [spring] season in my last season,” Varckette said.

By the time Davison sees the field in a competitive situation against opposing players it will be about a year and a half.

The hope by the PSAC is for fall sports to be played in spring if it can safely work.

“I was pretty mad because I want this time to prove myself,” said Davison, a 2020 high school graduate. “Then, I thought about it and it will give me more time to workout, time to better myself, get to know my teammates and get used to college life.”

The plan is for football to return to fall 2021 after spring 2021.

“It’ll be tough to train, but I’m willing to do that,” said Davison, a projected running back-wide receiver with Mercyhurst.

Davison, the 2019 Ashtabula County Offensive Player of the Year, said all he can do is be ready when the time arrives to be back on the field.

“It’s unfortunate, but I’ll continue to work out,” he said. “It’s all on God’s time. Everything happens for a reason.”


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