BRIDGEPORT, Pa. — As 2020 comes to an end it seems appropriate to give it a eulogy.
The general rules of eulogies are simple – the best eulogies are respectful and solemn, but they also give mourners some comic relief. A bit of roasting is fine – if it is appropriate to the person and the assembled masses have a sense of humor. Finally, it is best to directly address the deceased to wrap up the speech with a meaningful note such as “you will be remembered” or that the individual taught you something important.
For 2020, what it taught the collegiate sports community is simple – don’t take what you have and the people you do it with for granted.
Thousands of athletes in water polo and other sports missed out on playing the games they love. Coaches were not able to impart wisdom and fans were unable to see the last player on the bench become a hero and the best players do what they do best – score, make saves, grab steals, block shots and raise the level of play around them.
As a year which will long be remembered for what was missed comes to a close, it is also important to remember what was learned and gained from a 2020 in which a few women’s games took place prior to a pandemic shutdown.
Although the games were not played, the game of water polo – and collegiate sports – live on. There were fewer games and opportunities for athletes to compete in the sport they love. Losses took on a different meaning in the grander scheme.
However, although diminished over the past 12 months, the sport of water polo remains active. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men’s season was postponed from the Fall 2020 to Winter 2021 with hopes of a women’s collegiate club and NCAA season still in the cards.
Through the day-to-day chaos that the last 12 months has brought, the mission of the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) remains the same – “To Enrich & Enhance the Student-Athlete Experience.”
The league’s staff works seven days a week, year-round to provide a service which its membership deserves by aiming to provide the best collegiate experience possible irregardless if a program is either a club or varsity team hailing from a large Division I or small Division III institution.
So what did 2020 teach us?
Words like grit, determination, teamwork and a serious of synonyms and phrases about overcoming obstacles and making the best of a situation come to mind.
So as the ball drops and the calendar flips to January, let’s get the action back in the pool and make 2021 a year to remember for all the right reasons.