Student-athletes are motivated now more than ever due to the pandemic. Photo Credit Vincent Temesvary and GoToros.
By Chaz Kawamura, Staff Reporter
Imagine not being able to play the sport you love for not one but two seasons. Not being able to be on the field with teammates, with your family and friends in the stands, with the feel of the competitive atmosphere you so desperately long for each and every time you get the chance to feel it.
For California State University, Dominguez Hills Athletics and its athletes, that feeling is just that much worse for teams that play during the spring semester. Especially for the baseball and softball teams, who have not played in a competitive athletic event for nearly two straight seasons.
With the NCAA announcement that was made for Division II athletes in relation to eligibility per season of competition waivers during the fall as well as the spring seasons. Many sports were hit hard at CSUDH.
The announcement came midseason when the Toros baseball team was 12-10 and had just found its stride, winning seven of the last eight games before the shutdown. The Toros softball team was 16-8 while also being the 23rd ranked team in the nation. Both seasons, coincidentally, were cut short due to the COVID-19 outbreak per the NCAA and the CCAA conference.
In turn, many student-athletes are continuing to struggle to find that motivation that makes them want to keep going and keep working. But for Vincent Temesvary, Toros baseball freshman outfielder and senior utility softball player Chenoa Au, that drive to want to keep going is all but there.
For Temesvary, his eagerness is not the only reason why he is motivated to stay in shape for next season. That motivation he has comes from his mom, who has been actively pushing him to stay fit during the offseason.
“We just have this bond that not many have a bond as strong as this,” Temesvary said. “We are brother and sister in a way. She is brutally honest with me. She has pushed me hard in baseball and in my academics. She is still pushing the same way she always has.”
For Au, it was her sister pushing her and giving her the drive to stay fit and stay ready for the next season.
“So my sister will actually be coming the following academic year and will also be playing softball,” Au said. “I want to finish this. I always wanted to set my sister up for the future. Now, she will be getting what I worked off.”
Adding to the motivation, the NCAA also created the bylaws regarding eligible student-athletes to receive one year of eligibility as long as the student-athletes’ team participated in 50% or less of the teams’ contests, the student-athlete uses his/her year of eligibility, and also as long as the student is eligible for competition during the 2020-2021 academic year.
This meant that student-athletes, like Au, could participate in their sport for one more year due to the short season. In which Au had her own opinion on the eligibility situation.
“I truly feel like every sport should have got the year. A lot of girls are trying to take the path,” Au said. “I am split in the middle, but it would be so wrong not to honor everyone.”
Along with Au, Temesvary also had their own view on the eligibility situation as a whole.
“I think there is an advantage although everyone is getting it,” Temesvary said. “I would be very upset if I were one of the older guys. But it also helps to get bigger and stronger for the next season.”
Even though this is the case, there is still a pain inside all student-athletes who have yet to step on a field or a court. For freshmen, it is the eagerness to be able to play at the collegiate level that is killing them inside. For seniors, it is the relentless effort to give it their all for one last ride.
For more updates on the NCAA and athletes due to COVID-19 please click here.