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Students are eager to return back to campus to watch their Crimson Hawks in action.

Different sounds and noises have been coming from IUP’s campus.

The only thing is, it’s not your typical Friday night lights’ sound. It’s the sound of cold wind blowing in the air.

At this time of year, the whole university would be filled with tons of excitement and cheer at the sporting events; whether that would be the shot clock buzzing at the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex (PSAC), or fellow IUP students warming up with a fuzzy blanket watching the Crimson Hawks playing some playoff football on Frank Cignetti Field at Miller Stadium.

COVID-19 has put all athletics to sleep this semester, but what did that do to our Crimson Hawks on campus?

“The sport I miss the most is definitely basketball,” Dwyane Bryant (junior, kinesiology health and sports science) said. “I miss the good times when I would meet up at the game and to just see the entertainment. My main team, IUP, would be throwing dimes, crossing people over and finishing right now.”

He said the pandemic has had a huge impact on the university because it hyped the players up into feeling more confident in themselves and to have control of winning their games when fans were there to cheer them on.

“I miss cheering for them loud and proud, but hopefully it will be a change in the future for us fans to see that again in person,” he said.

For Bryant, it seems basketball gave him something to look forward too with his friends, and that goes a long way when experiencing fun on a college campus.

Entertainment was huge for the students at IUP since that’s what being a college student is about.

“I definitely think basketball is the most missed sport on campus, ” Trevor Cratty (senior, communications media) said. “The atmosphere at an IUP basketball game is unmatched, and the quality of play is great too. IUP has a winning mentality, and that’s why I think it’s so easy to get behind this team.”

He said going to games with friends is a huge part of the student culture here, and not only did COVID-19 completely change the way students participate in the classroom, it also affected the college experience outside of it as well.

It was the success the basketball team has that made Cratty miss this sport at IUP the most.

He is not wrong, IUP has many talented athletic teams. The experience was another big topic mentioned along with entertainment like Bryant had said. College is not much of anything besides just going and getting a degree. Going with friends to the basketball games are lifetime memories that you will never forgot once your college career is over.

“I miss [basketball] because that is what I grew up watching,” Tyler Omune (senior, computer science) said. “Watching players like Lebron, Kobe and Allen Iverson made me develop fervent love for the game. I think the sport had a significant impact on the student life in the university because it brings people from different ethnicities and different walks of life together.”

He said that having that sense of unity is really important in the university, especially during a time where there’s so much division.

For me, it would be tough just to pick one sport that I miss the most, but if I had to pick one, it would be football. Sure, all sports are dearly missed. However, football has made a big impact on me and the IUP campus.

Football has always been my second favorite sport, and as a young kid and still to this day, I would always look forward to the weekends. Football brought my dad and I really close, and we formed a stronger relationship.

Crimson Hawks football has brought the entire Indiana county together to cheer their Hawks to the road to victory. The cannon going off at Miller Stadium after each touchdown gave a blast of excitement to the fans.

It gave the entire community something to look forward to as the colder weather came on. It was the early bird to all the other sports.

After football, basketball was the sport to watch once it wrapped up.

Sports for the students at IUP are a second way of life, especially basketball at this time as we’ve heard several students say. We all hope for a spring semester filled with life again because some of it has been briefly taken away.

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