Do you feel the spring air? The sun is peeking out of the clouds, temperatures are rising, Linfield sports are back in business, and I imagine birds are chirping somewhere, right? That is what birds do after all.
The winter is a strange time on the Linfield campus. For one thing, winter break empties the campus and January Term—which is almost too much fun every year—does not bring the entire student body back either. The campus feels empty, and at times, desolate.
Desolate is also a good way to describe the win columns for our sports teams during the winter.
There are only a few sports in the winter to begin with, so when our basketball teams combine for just seven wins and the swim teams finish in the bottom half of the Northwest Conference, it becomes as depressing as watching Miguel Olivo start as catcher for your favorite team.
Thankfully, the spring improves the weather, and the NWC remembers that Linfield is always a force to be reckoned with.
The softball team lost in the national championship game last year, and despite losing some key seniors, it recorded four impressive victories this weekend and sits atop the NWC standings. Being first is nothing new for this softball program, though.
The baseball team has won 10 straight games and seems to be hitting on all cylinders. This is nothing new for this baseball program, though.
During the weekend, the track team had three athletes move into the top 10 in the Linfield record books and another improve upon her mark. The track team has finished in the top half of the NWC for the past few years, so these results are nothing new for the program.
The women’s lacrosse team, which struggled to find enough numbers for the season, kicked off its season to a substantial amount of fans. Although the women lost, the sun was out and Linfield pride was at full force.
Fans will come to watch success. This is why the baseball and softball stands are filled with Linfield students. It’s why the football team draws fans in the fall, and the women’s soccer team had dedicated fans all season. The fact that the lacrosse team persevered and found a way to begin the season drew fans to the game.
Unfortunately, the winter allows the students to forget about Linfield athletics. For a school that has more athletic pride than most schools that are much larger, it is depressing that more emphasis isn’t placed on the winter sports.
Spring should be a continuation of winter success, just as winter should be a continuation of fall success. Sure, teams will have down years, but when a sport (or sports) consistently underperforms, it becomes a glaring weakness of this school.
The winter brings darkness. The sun often takes long leaves of absence, temperatures drop and birds chirp less often. This we cannot control.
But we can control Linfield sports succeeding in the winter. This spring has already reminded us of our athletic prowess, and it’s time we don’t forget about it in the preceding months every single year.
Tyler Bradley/ Sports columnist
Tyler Bradley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.