The Season that Never Happened

Student-Athlete Interview 

Michael McLaughlin 

Defender for Holy Family University Men’s Soccer Team

The Holy Family Men’s Soccer team had a successful 2019 season in which they went 11-8-1 overall and made it to the league semi-finals.  That was one of their best seasons in recent memory.  I had the opportunity to chat with Michael McLaughlin who is a center back defenseman for the Holy Family Tigers.  He is a junior studying criminal justice and was not able to practice or compete this fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic, like many other athletes.  The university cancelled all sports in the interest of the safety and well-being of the players, coaches, and fans.  Mike had a few minutes to talk with the Tri-Lite newspaper staff about what it is like to have no season during this time of uncertainty.

Robert:  What are you doing to stay in shape since there are no team workouts?

Michael: “To stay in shape, I am going to the gym four times a week and running two times a week. Being able to work out and run relieves my mind and body of the things I have to worry about. I also feel very good about myself after exercising.” 

Robert: What do you miss the most about not having a season? 

Michael: “What I miss most about not having a season is being able to get back on the field and doing what I enjoy doing most. Not being able to play with friends and kick the ball around is what I miss the most. The playoff runs were also very fun and entertaining.”

Robert: How are you doing with online classes and what is one thing you like and dislike about them? 

Michael: “I have been doing surprisingly well with my online classes. Though this might not be the case for everyone, in my opinion, online classes are as simple as it gets. One thing I like about online classes is the fact that I do not have to drive 15-20 minutes to school every single day. This is a pet peeve of mine that I can get a nice break from.  I am also present for every class because they are simple to access on my computer. One thing I do not like is that retaining information can be a little more difficult. Having the face-to-face conversation with a professor allows you to focus and retain information much easier. Focusing on class while being home can be very difficult at times.” 

Robert: Have you picked up any new hobbies or jobs over the last few months? 

Michael: “One hobby that I picked up over the last few months is stickball. I really enjoy playing it, considering my baseball career ended before I came into high school because of a serious injury. Being able to swing the stick and run the bases brings back a lot of good memories.  Also, I work at Provecho Mexican Grill in Huntingdon Valley as a delivery driver which keeps me busy since there are no soccer matches or practices.  I like to help out the community during these turbulent times.”

Robert: Is there anything else readers should know about the team, yourself, or anything in general?

Michael: “I hope to be able to see my teammates and classmates on campus soon.  This virtual stuff is getting really old as you are limited to what you can do over Zoom. I used to see me teammates daily, and now I only talk to them every once in a while. The cure cannot be worse than the virus itself. I feel powerless because I am at the mercy of government officials as to what I can and cannot do. A small group of athletes cannot play a sport, but yet hundreds of people can be near each other in a Walmart or Target at a time. Life has not made sense recently. I pray that I will be able to have my senior season in the Fall of 2021.”

Robert:  That does it for now. Thank you for your time, Michael.

Michael: “No problem, Robert.  Take care.”

Robert F. Costello, III is the executive editor of Tri-Lite which is Holy Family University’s student run newspaper.  He is in his third year at HFU and is studying Secondary Education-English.  Robert loves to take trips to the beach during the summer and to watch Phillies games with friends and family.  His favorite kind of writing is persuasive because it gets the reader to think about both sides of an argument.