Rowan Football’s Messiah Divine Talks About Practicing with COVID-19 Guidelines

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Running back Messiah Divine and quarterback Mike Husni line up before a snap. Divine, Husni and the rest of the team have returned to practicing with new COVID-19 precautious. - Photo / Ben Stephens

For the most part, this year has been anything but normal. Schools’ schedules, usually very predictable, have been flipped upside down due to COVID-19. Some schools are open with restrictions, while some are purely online.

But now, we can finally say that something somewhat typical happened in 2020 in regard to Rowan sports. The Rowan football team has recently resumed practice, with COVID-19 safety restrictions.

Senior running back Messiah Divine describes what it is like to practice during the current situation.

“We have to get our temperature taken,” Divine said. “We have to stay in groups of 10 to split up practices. On the field, we have to wear gloves and stay six feet apart.”

When fall sports were canceled back in July, the idea of practicing in the fall seemed far-fetched. However, all of the doubts were extinguished. Clear guidelines were put in place to ensure the safety of the athletes and coaches, and now they are back to practicing. And the Profs have some goals they are looking toward.

“We just want to get better and recover from last season,” Divine said.

Rowan’s football team finished last season with a 4-6 record and are hoping to improve on that.

These unprecedented circumstances are not stopping players from putting in the work. Physical training is just one part of the solution; the mental aspect of training is the other.

“I still watch film of plays I like,” Divine said. “I watch the NFL and keep my mind ready. I’m ready for when the time comes.”

One of Divine’s personal goals is being drafted into the NFL.

Even with the excitement that comes with practicing and getting ready for games, there could be a chance the season does not start for at least a few months.

Divine stated that proposals have been brought forward on how to resume the season. One included renewing all of the seniors’ eligibility next year so that they can play. He added that all of this has been a “wait-and-
see” deal.

No matter what happens, it is clear that Divine and other seniors will not have a normal sendoff from college like others have had in the past. Being halfway into October has brought no games so far.

But Divine has learned to be patient. He preached this concept to other seniors in the same situation.

“[The pandemic] has given people time to think about their future,” Divine said. “Have patience. Stick to your plan; I’ll use it from now on. Chase your dream.”

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