Gaels keep on top of their game despite fall season cancellation

Junior Damien Dilcher placed second in the 800-meter at the Metropolitan Indoor Track and Field Championships and third in the mile race at the 2020 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships. Photo courtesy of

Matthew Chaves, Sports Editor


Summer has finished early and the semester has started for students at Iona College and that includes the athletes representing the maroon and gold. 

Many of the athletes have been working on their game all summer under the assumption that they’ll be able to show off their skills and bring home some trophies for the Gaels in the fall. Those plans went out the window on July 27 when the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference announced that all fall sports competitions were cancelled this season. 

The fall sports impacted by the Council’s decision include men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s cross country and sports that conduct non-traditional season segments in the fall,” MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor said. “The MAAC Executive Committee will explore with the Committee on Athletic Administration (COAA) the goal of providing the student-athletes with a schedule of contests among conference members in the spring of 2021 in accordance with each institution’s procedures and applicable state regulations. 

Despite the cancellation, athletes haven’t held up on their personal training. Staying in physical shape is a must when you want to be at the top of the league, which is exactly where the men’s cross-country/track and field team has been for the last 29 years.  

Junior and men’s cross-country runner Damien Dilcher has had a hard time staying on top of his game throughout the summer, but focusing on the team’s goals helps him stay on track. 

“It all starts with just getting in a good daily routine and doing all the little things,” Dilcher said via email. 

The cancellation affected Dilcher’s routine heavily. He was used to the technology and treatment that the school usually provides for their cross-country team, but without that, keeping in shape was a much more difficult task. Having the team’s support while training has a huge impact on practicing as well, according to Dilcher. 

Not all of the athletes were affected in such a manner, though. Freshman and men’s water polo player Andrew Miller has his friend to thank for helping him keep on top of his game over the summer. 

I’ve been able to do CrossFit in my friends barn to stay in shape,” Miller said via email. “It’s really hard but it gets you into shape fast.” 

Despite the lack of a season to compete in this fall, Miller still sees the bright side of the situation, which includes having more time to focus on his academics in college. 

It also gives me more time to build chemistry with my teammates and the opportunity to put on some more muscle mass,” Miller said.  

The MAAC has yet to make any announcements regarding a cancellation of the spring season as well, but will most likely play it by ear as we move more near the spring.