WINONA LAKE – Thursday afternoon, Grace College athletic director Chad Briscoe offered a brief overview of the direction of the athletic office as well as a hopeful uplifting message.
Of note, IFN Sports will take a deeper look into Grace’s athletic programs, how the spring is affecting matters going forward, and possible features to take a look into a truly ‘unprecedented time’ in the institution’s timeline.
But first, a note from Mr. Briscoe:
Dear Lancer Nation,
We began this journey two weeks ago, battling the COVID-19 outbreak through uncharted territory. You have faithfully responded with resiliency and tremendous character in the midst of these extreme changes, which is to be applauded.
We use the word “culture” often in the world of athletics. But during these unprecedented times, quite honestly the words we are focusing now are “togetherness” and “family.” Our President Dr. Bill Katip, the Grace board and our senior administration along with our coaches and staff are focused on caring for our student-athletes above all else during this time.
Grace coaches and staff, like most others, are under the governor’s “stay at home” directive, but boredom has not set in for our coaches and staff!
Priority number one for the athletic department is the continued spiritual growth of our student-athletes and coaches. The emergence of the coronavirus resulted in all spring sports events canceled, other sports were not permitted to meet/train, and for the seniors, the last few months of the senior year experience have been changed.
Winter sports were also affected. Our men’s basketball program was hours away from competing at the NAIA championships. The women’s basketball team was set to be a high seed at the NCCAA national tournament, which was to be held at Grace last week.
To all our student-athletes, we understand this is not how you anticipated the ending to the 2019-20 academic year. Our prayer is that the adversity you are facing now will help you as you prepare for life. We pray the Lord with use this period to refine you and grow your faith in the coming days, months and years.
For spring sports only, the NAIA has granted an extra season of eligibility for student-athletes whose spring seasons were cut short. If you’re interested in extending your time at Grace to gain back a season of play, please contact your head coach.
To our incoming freshmen (class of 2020), we understand your senior year has been drastically affected as well. We are praying for you and the adversity you are facing this spring. For other prospective students, Grace College has recently announced that the standardized test requirement will be waived for the summer and fall 2020 semesters.
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To all our athletes, coaches, faculty, staff and fans, thank you for your support of Lancer athletics throughout this season. We pray the Lord will bless each of you during this continued season of change. Please remain vigilant and use wisdom with decisions made while we continue to combat against the coronavirus. Please follow your state directives and please stay connected with the latest campus updates regarding the coronavirus.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10
May the Lord continue to bless and protect each of you! I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming athletic event next fall and again thank you for your service to the Lord!
We are Lancer Nation!
Director of Athletics, Grace College