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College & COVID

College athletes are getting a lot of practice — in disappointment

Four student athletes describe seasons of frustration, and resilience, in their own words.

Clockwise from top left: Jack Clohisy, Tuft's men's track; Taylor Soule, BC women's basketball; Soren Colstrup (No. 14), Framingham State men's hockey; and Sophie Trachtenberg (No. 12), Brandeis women's basketball.
Clockwise from top left: Jack Clohisy, Tuft's men's track; Taylor Soule, BC women's basketball; Soren Colstrup (No. 14), Framingham State men's hockey; and Sophie Trachtenberg (No. 12), Brandeis women's basketball.Clohisy by Michael Clohisy; Soule by Brent Greenburg/BC; Colstrup from Framingham State; and Trachtenberg by Tessa Holleran

Soren Colstrup

Framingham State University class of 2021, men’s ice hockey

“My experience as an athlete during COVID has not been great. One of the most vital resources for training is ice time. At FSU we didn’t receive any ice time this year, even for practice. Weight lifting and access to our school gym was also minimal during COVID. All of us prepared as if there was going to be a season and were told shortly before our normal start date that our season had been canceled. As a senior, it wasn’t how I would’ve liked to end my college athletic career, but I cherish the memories I was able to make along the way.”

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Taylor Soule

Boston College class of 2022, women’s basketball

“This year has been more mentally strenuous than any year before. Whether it was adjusting to new life with classes online, spreading out seats on the bus or plane, or having to isolate away from non-athletes, nothing about this year was ordinary. That being said, it has taught me patience, adjusting on the fly, and given me a new perspective on life.”


Sophie Trachtenberg

Brandeis University class of 2021, women’s basketball

“My experience as a student-athlete during the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly come with challenges. Despite the disappointment of canceled games, we had our hopes high with the potential of playing a local scrimmage. Unfortunately, it was canceled due to safety precautions. Instead of putting our heads down, we stuck together and organized an intra-squad scrimmage, something that proved especially meaningful to me as a graduating senior. My team rallied and was able to be resilient, creative, and supportive in the face of unprecedented obstacles, which is something I will take with me long after my time playing basketball comes to a close.”


Jack Clohisy

Tufts University class of 2023, men’s track and field

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“Since the onset of the pandemic, there has been an evident shift in the way my teammates and I have had to stay motivated and committed to track. In a normal year, I’d be practicing at least six days a week, but with all the uncertainty, athletics could be postponed at any moment. My teammates and I have found unique ways to stay in shape by practicing in small groups and still finding the time to run.”

* Interviews have been edited and condensed.


This story is part of a special report was produced in collaboration with an Emerson College writing and publishing course led by assistant professor Susanne Althoff, a former editor of the Globe Magazine. Molly MacDuff is pursuing a master’s degree. Send comments to magazine@globe.com.