State Fair Community College softball head coach Lyndsey Talbot is leading from home.
“Once I got over the initial disappointment about the season getting canceled, it’s honestly been pretty easy for myself,” Talbot said. “I’m kind of an introvert who has thrived working from home.”
Leaving town for Tulsa, Oklahoma for a softball tournament at the beginning of June represented some of the first scouting activity of the summer, Talbot said. Sometime between then and the end of the pandemic-shortened spring campaign, Talbot found time to help SFCC admissions place phone calls to prospective and returning students.
“Making phone calls, making appointments, just helping out any way we could,” Talbot said. “Everybody needs a hand lended to them, so we were helping out.”
None of the sophomores allotted an extra season of eligibility will return, seeking educational pursuits at SFCC or elsewhere. Talbot said she has emphasized to her players, some of which already endured a short season, to be flexible as guidelines for reopening campus are outlined.
“I’m just gonna hang out, wait and recruit,” Talbot said.
The NJCAA released an action plan Friday to help facilitate the return of junior college athletics for 2020-21 that left the start date for fall competition and practices unchanged at Aug. 1 and Aug. 20, respectively.
Fall non-championship events such as baseball and softball are permitted to begin practices Aug. 31 with a fall season spanning from Sept. 5 to Oct. 31. The spring practice and competition schedule is currently unchanged.
Men’s and women’s basketball are permitted to begin practice Sept. 14 and may begin competition Oct. 16. In an effort to reduce the effect of a projected second wave of COVID-19 infections, member colleges are to limit competition between Thanksgiving and Jan. 1, 2021.
Student-athletes are permitted to move in beginning July 18 to allow colleges a 14-day quarantine period and implement additional safety precautions before practices begin. The NJCAA also waived an article in its bylaws to allow colleges to pay for COVID-19 testing for student-athletes.
With mere weeks of competition lost to the pandemic and minimal recruitment efforts affected, Talbot said adjusting to precautions concerning COVID-19 have been easier than initially expected.
“Once you get over the initial shock, it’s been fairly easy,” Talbot said. “I think a lot of things the city administration and SFCC have been flawless, they have all chipped in. State Fair has made it an even easier adjustment for everybody along the way.”
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2.