Updated: June 09, 2020 11:51 AM
Created: June 09, 2020 11:29 AM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Senior spring sport athletes across the nation experienced that gut-wrenching feeling, as their seasons were cut short and they wondered if they'd ever play again.
This includes one local lacrosse player, who's not taking his second chance for granted.
"I guess it is a little bit more official that yeah, this is really it," Victor native Nick Montemorano said.
The RIT lacrosse player had seen his final season of eligibility dissolve in front of him.
"I sorta got the feeling of what it might've been like after our season got canceled," Montemorano said.
He suddenly understood what it would've been like to never wear the Tigers' uniform again, as the coronavirus pandemic abruptly ended his senior season.
"I definitely felt like that was gonna be it, so everyone was bummed out. I think a lot of people felt the same way," Montemorano said.
Then, Montemorano learned the NCAA was granting an extra year of eligibility for spring sport athletes.
"I am going to take advantage of the extra year of eligibility," Montemorano said. "This is sort of like my last chance to play with the extra year."
He says this past season served as a warning.
"Going into the next season, it's a little bit of a sense of urgency after getting a taste of that feeling," Montemorano said.
For Montemorano and his fellow seniors, there's a drive to finish out the season on their own terms.
"I think people are just hungry to go back and find the success that we thought we were gonna have this year," says Montemorano.
It's also a second shot at hoisting hardware.
"We see ourselves as a top team in Division III," Montemorano said. "We wanna win our league. We wanna win the national championship. It's not really a secret that that's sort of our goal."
The additional year of eligibility allows seniors like Montemorano, who will receive his undergrad in software engineering this summer, to further their academic goals too.
"There's a chance of doing a related minor and a couple things that are unrelated minors that I might do," Montemorano said.
From lacrosse to the classroom, Montemorano is ready for one final lap at RIT.
"There's definitely a huge opportunity for next year, especially given tuition rates dropping," Montemorano said. "You get an MBA for a discounted rate. There's definitely a ton of potential so I'm excited about that."
RIT will be covering 55% of graduate tuition for those taking advantage of the extra year of eligibility.
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