Local Athletes Impacted As Fall Sports Push Back To Spring

By ERIC X. VICCARO

Ste. Genevieve Herald

Five former Valle Catholic High School and seven ex-Ste. Genevieve High School athletes are currently playing college sports somewhere in the United States.

Many of them have been impacted by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic that’s affecting the world.

Originally the Ohio Valley Conference suspended fall sports through Sept. 17, but the Board of Presidents announced complete postponement this past Friday.

Former Ste. Genevieve Gatorade state runner of the year Ben Naeger, who currently competes for Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., didn’t think cross country season would take place anyway.

“I’m very skeptical there’s going to be a season,” Naeger said. And he was right.

Naeger said he’s missing racing and the competition aspect very much.

Belmont has decided to stagger class schedules this fall. Naeger reported Plexiglas shields have been installed in the campus cafeteria there. All of his classes will take place in a virtual setting until at least mid-September.

Naeger said he doesn’t expect indoor track and field season to take place this winter, either.

Former Ste. Genevieve football player Isaac Boyd is using the downtime to rehabilitate a previous injury.

“I’m happy because this will give me more time to rest my knee,” said Boyd, now a freshman at McKendree University in neighboring Illinois.

Boyd said his class schedule has been modified. He also reported all students, faculty and staff will wear masks while indoors.

McKendree football and rugby will be vying for practice time at the same facility next spring.