Winter is officially here to stay at Ohio Wesleyan, and with that comes changes for OWU sports.
The teams that have previously been outdoors will go through the most change, both in terms of schedule as well as program.
Day-to-day operations are impacted the most. When not in the winter months, most teams have their own specific space for practices. Ranging from the Jay Martin Soccer Complex to the George Gauthier Track, it was commonplace to see many different teams holding practice at the same time.
However, the majority of teams will now be sharing three spaces: the Branch Rickey Arena, Gordon Field House and newly relocated weight room.
The yearly transition is helped by facilities director Dustin Rudegeair, who aims to minimize winter’s impact on the Bishops’ effectiveness.
The biggest challenge for Rudegeair is trying to maximize the space available, according to sophomore facilities supervisor Sam Schurer.
Since Schurer has been running the process for a while and this is a yearly transition, Rudegeair is able to find teams who can use same space in ways that don’t interfere with each other.
These scheduling changes end up not just by varsity athletes, but other students on campus as well. Those looking to enjoy sports recreationally will have to make adjustments as well.
“Up until recently it has been pretty easy to go into the gym and get a pickup game going or play tennis at almost any time,” sophomore Alec Wyneth said. “But now there are teams in there all the time, so we can’t just play on a whim.”
To help avoid conflicts, there is a weekly schedule posted in the hallway connecting Branch RickeyArena to Gordon Field House. This schedule has been the most helpful to the non-varsity athletic groups who want to use the facility, such as the club rugby and ultimate frisbee teams.
“We are able to adjust our practices accordingly, and now know what days we should do a track workout or ideal days for a full scrimmage using the tennis courts,” said frisbee co-captain Bill Milanick, a junior.
Looking ahead, there will be more space across the board starting next year.