Rock Valley spring sports on hold, awaits NJCAA decision

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) No one is quite sure yet just when sports will come back due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, Rock Valley is one of the few colleges in the country that is staying ready for whatever decision is made.

Darin Monroe, RVC softball head coach and athletic director, has been put in an unprecedented situation. He has to get his team prepared but does not know when they will play next. The NJCAA suspended the spring sports season until April 3 because of the coronavirus.

It's difficult for Monroe because his team is ranked number one in the country and already 17-3 after a spring trip down in Florida.

"I know how hard they've worked and they know how hard they've worked," said Monroe. "Their hearts and their souls are into playing for Rock Valley College softball or baseball."

"At any moment, it can be taken away from us. Which is all the more important that we got to proceed and play every game like it's our last, because it could be."

On Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) came out and recommended that for the next eight weeks, events consisting of 50 people or more should be canceled or postponed.

While the NCAA canceled its sports for the remainder of the school year, Monroe believes the smaller crowds are what gives the junior college teams an opportunity to play.

"Our kids aren't getting on plane rides every weekend to go play somebody. Our kids aren't staying in hotels every weekend to play somebody. Most of the travel and stuff that we do, is locally. We get on a bus, we go play, we come home, we sleep in our own beds."

"The only contact that we have is with the people that we know, where they've been, what they've done. Where at that division 1 level, it's a lot different," said Monroe.

He said there's a balancing act to it all, but if the season does end suddenly, Monroe understands.

"The world of athletics, there's recruitment, there's all these other things that involve contact with people. That's the one thing people are telling us not to do is have contact with people."

"For me personally, if that happens, I'm going to get an opportunity to spend time with my wife, I'm going to get time to spend with my kids, and I look forward to that."