Flightless Falcons

COVID-19 protocols shut down most Falcon road trips for 2020-21 season

Daniel Newman, Sports Editor

Illustration by Caitlyn Schnider

Last year, Seattle Pacific University’s basketball teams played in two different countries and five different states. But this year, there is no longer a need to meet at Royal Brougham Pavilion in the morning to pile the luggage into buses and head to the airport, or to a closer destination. The only places they will travel are to Saint Martin’s University and Central Washington University.

While the athletes are happy to have the home court advantage in most of their games this season, there is a part of them that misses those long trips with their teammates.

“I do enjoy road trips quite a lot. It is a great block of time to spend with teammates and bond, and it is fun to travel,” junior Rachel Berg said. “I would say my favorite trip is probably Alaska because we get to see some snow and go to our favorite breakfast place, Snow City Cafe.”

Meanwhile, men’s basketball player Filip Fullerton also enjoys hitting the road every now and again, and he always relishes the chance to beat an opponent in their own gym.

“I actually really like road trips. I feel like a lot of my best games are on the road, just having fun on the road, it’s interesting to be in a different place,” Fullerton, a redshirt sophomore, said.

Berg is happy to not be travelling as much this year.

“I am glad that we get the home-court advantage more this year. With online school and stressful COVID protocols, I feel that it is a luxury that we don’t need to travel so much,” Berg said.

Both teams have had one opportunity to be on the road this year so far, and the women’s team just made their trip to Saint Martin’s last weekend, losing 55-54 on Feb. 4 and winning 70-64 on Feb. 5.

“The road trip to Saint Martin’s was a really great experience for us … The travel time was about 2 hours with traffic, but we were able to get out and stretch along the way, so it wasn’t too bad,” Berg said.

Berg scored a career high 28 points to lead the Falcons to the win on Feb. 5.

Due to COVID-19 protocols, only coaches and members of the team who are going to play in the game are allowed to travel to the opponents location.

Because of this, Fullerton, who is out for the season with a back injury, had to cheer on his teammates by watching the livestream from his dorm room.

“It was really weird, cause with this team, I’m just so used to talking to them and telling them how I think they’re doing, giving them little pointers throughout the game. That was super weird. I couldn’t have social interaction. I was just cheering through a screen,” Fullerton said.

In what has been a crazy season, both teams have made it halfway through their schedules, with five more contests for the women and six for the men, with one on the road for both teams at Central Washington.