SUPERIOR, WI. -- Athletic teams across the Northland have had fall competition moved to the spring due to COVID-19.
Although no games will be played, teams are still able to practice.
For the first time since last spring, the UW-Superior men's soccer team is back together on the pitch.
"So just to have this time I think really the sentiment has just been overwhelming, just been grateful to be here," said Joe Mooney, UW-Superior men's soccer head coach.
Grateful to be back, after many thought this day would never come.
"It's just being around the guys that you appreciate and support and want to help get better," said Mooney.
The five months away from the team, testing the players' mental toughness.
"Especially with what's going on now, it weeds out the weak-minded. I think you have got to be strong-minded to keep going through the obstacles, going through all the things that have been thrown at us. You just have to stay positive and keep moving forward," said Blake Doyea, Yellowjacket Senior forward.
Moving forward, to the return of practice, in a way like they've never done it before.
"We bring them in for an hour apiece, and it's all technical work. There's no contact involved, it's trying to keep guys socially distanced as possible," said Mooney.
"You take a positive out of a negative, having these small groups, you get to know some of the newer people a lot quicker than it would be normally," said Doyea.
Ultimately, when the first whistle blows on the kick-off of the season, the extra practice will go a long way for the Yellowjackets.
"As individuals, how can we be at our best, and then how can we as teammates support each other and help others be at their best. Every day it's just about creating an environment where guys can develop to the best of their ability," said Mooney.
The Yellowjackets will remain to practice in split sessions with groups of ten or fewer for two weeks before returning to full team activities.