Winston-Salem Journal - Winston-salem-state
WSSU Sports

No football this fall at WSSU will be strange

Yes, it will be strange to not be at Bowman Gray Stadium this fall watching Winston-Salem State football games.

This is my 24th year of covering WSSU athletics so my routine has been carved out pretty well. That routine will change now that the CIAA has suspended all fall sports. 

The hope is to play football games in the spring, but we are a long way from that in terms of shaking free from COVID-19.

WSSU students will be allowed back on campus on Aug. 17, and once they are there it will be interesting to see how it all works. The school has an intricate step-by-step for staying safe and not having large crowds gather.

Etienne Thomas, who is WSSU’s athletics, director, said teams could be able to practice some during the fall. It would obviously be limited, but that led me to several questions about basketball season.

The WSSU men are expected to play at Duke in an exhibition game. The schedule, however, has not been released. The Rams are the defending CIAA champions, and Coach Mike Krzyzewski of Duke has scheduled a game with the CIAA champs in recent seasons.

In 2012, the Rams won the title and the next season got to play at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Let’s hope that the pandemic doesn’t shorten the basketball season and scratch the exhibition game at Duke. It would be a shame if the WSSU team didn’t get a chance to play at such a cool gym.

"As of now basketball season hasn't changed," Thomas said. "We hope to have our schedule released pretty soon. Our hope is that winter sports will be on schedule."

With the shutdown of spring sports in mid-March WSSU’s softball team didn’t get to play many games. But one player is  being recognized as a top-flight senior.

Daijah Chambers, who has already graduated, was one of 126 Division II women athletes who were nominated for the award.