ASHLAND, Ore--- The Southern Oregon women's basketball team, like everyone else, has been chomping at the bit to get back on the basketball court for more than a year. That timeline makes the sting even worse. SOU Women's Basketball will not be playing in the 2021 spring season, at least for now.
"It's really disappointing to think about turning down games as long as we have been wanting them," said head coach Alex Carlson.
In a non-COVID-related issue, the Raiders are simply too banged up to play.
"We have got some injuries right now and we are just kind of coming off of them a little slow," said Carlson.
While Carlson is not ready to release which players are hurt and which are not, he does say that the Raiders would only have about eight or nine players available by the time the spring season would begin (March 19).
Maturity is something that comes with age. It is something the four SOU seniors brought with them to team meetings when discussing how to move forward for the spring.
"Our team kind of talked it over and it was a player decision. We decided that we will wait until we are back up at the numbers to be able to practice and play like we want," said Carlson.
Carlson credits his players for making the decision along with the coaching staff and SOU Athletics. According to Carlson, the players and coaches had initial meetings. Then, the team captains had a meeting with the players. At the end of it all, it was a pretty unanimous choice for the women to sit out.
It may have helped that all four of the SOU seniors (Mallory Heard, Dominique Harding, Kenadee Honaker, Syd'Nee Fryer) plan to return for the winter season.
Still, the decision they had to make to skip this season was something that no player can imagine.
"It is a lot of changes and life decisions that they have had to make that they didn't know they were going to have to make," said Carlson.
SOU still hopes to potentially get a game or two in towards the end of the season. Carlson says there may be some possibilities into paying against an Oregon Tech or other nearby school.