As we shift our focus on how to return safely for the second semester and incorporate athletics, I would like to take a moment to reflect on this past semester…a semester that we all should be proud of.
In an unprecedented year where UMPI was hit hard, in ways that still do not feel real, we saw the resilience of our students, faculty, staff, and overall UMPI community. Throughout the summer, athletic staff collaborated with health and university officials to plan for a safe return to athletics. Although it was a semester like no other, UMPI athletics had one of the most successful semesters in the state of Maine and throughout all of the NCAA Division III.
Throughout the fall semester we had over 250 practices and 10 contests against outside competition with 0 COVID cases related to our athletic activity. We saw exciting games in men's and women's soccer and we were one of less than 20 schools in NCAA Division III to compete in soccer games this fall. Cross Country had strong showings in their two meets and Golf also competed in two matches, kicking off the first athletic contest in seven months when they teed off in the morning on September 28th. Due to not having another college in the state sponsoring volleyball competition this fall, our women's volleyball team was not able to compete against an outside team, however we were able to honor our seniors as we hosted an inter-squad scrimmage and had our Senior Day. Although it wasn't the Senior Day we would host in a "normal" year, watching the effort and competitiveness of our women's volleyball players made the contest feel more like a conference match against one of our rivals.
A few people and groups I would like to thank:
Our student athletes – For the work you have done this semester and your willingness to follow the safety procedures put in place, not just to keep yourselves safe but our whole campus and Presque Isle community safe. Although you are not on campus, please make sure to keep you and your family safe by continuing to practice safe health practices. Finish the semester strong academically and if you need anything do not hesitate to reach out to us. Know that we know this was not easy, but we could not be more proud of you!
Athletics Staff – To our coaches and staff. Your ability to adjust on the fly and do what was needed to have a safe semester was tremendous and we are incredibly grateful.
UMPI Community – It's no surprise just how much support we received from you all as you are always there for us year in and year out. This year, not only with COVID but with the loss of our dear friend Pat, you were there for our students and staff every step of the way. I cannot put into words how much your support meant to us all during such a difficult time.
Patrick Baker and Brian Morrison – Pat was the mastermind behind our procedures. His focus was always on doing whatever needed to be done, no matter how much work it was, to allow our student athletes to compete and do it safely. Along with Pat, Brian was there day in and day out making sure our teams were staying safe.
We look forward to brighter days, however we know that whatever comes our way, our UMPI community will always be there for us…and that is something to be proud of as well. #UMPIStrong