ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING (July 26, 2020) — In today’s edition of 5 Questions With…, Wyo4News talks with Dr. Lu Sweet, Athletic Director for Western Wyoming Community College.
Sweet has lived in Rock Springs for 24 years. She has worked as the Athletic Director at Western since 2008. Sweet has been an Assistant Coach for Men’s and Women’s Basketball and Women’s Soccer at Western as well. Sweet was an Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at MUS-Northern and was an Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach at the University of Kansas.
She also worked for Sweetwater School District #1 for 12 years, as both a Principal and Assistant Principal and she served on the school board for two years. Sweet was instrumental in starting the Boys’ and Girls’ Club in Rock Springs. She has written for the Rocket-Miner and Green River Star for over a dozen years and has published two books. Sweet lives in Rock Springs with her family.
Wyo4News 5 Questions
1. What was your first reaction to hearing fall sports for 2020 at Western would be moving to the spring of 2021, regarding championship seasons?
I think it is a great idea. All five of our teams will still be practicing and scrimmaging against other schools in the fall, but it gives all schools (us, our Region IX competitors, our non-conference competitors, and the NJCAA) a little extra time to make sure that regular and post-season competitions and tournaments are run safely. Things are still every changing daily with COVID-19.
2. What will Western be doing to help keep the athletes healthy and free of COVID-19 as they prepare to compete?
Mustang Athletics and Western realize that the safety of all students and staff is paramount! We will be checking students’ temperatures and checking for symptoms and practicing social distancing. We will be following all regulations from the CDC, as well as local, state, and federal guidelines, recommendations, regulations, procedures, and mandates. We have been communicating with our athletes. We will be all be wearing face coverings. We will have to make some adjustments as we go, but one of my favorite sayings is, “Find a way, not a way out!”
3. Do you feel the changes that have been made will make preparations for the season any more difficult for the athletes?
As weird as this sounds, not really. My awesome staff and that of the college, as well as our wonderful student-athletes, have all embraced this challenge. They want to keep themselves and everyone around them safe. They want the opportunity to compete/coach at something they love. They want to progress towards their degree/help their students graduate. In athletics, if someone gets in foul trouble, you adjust. If someone gets hurt, you adjust. You always try to find a way rather than a way out. We are approaching this as positively as we can, understanding there are many challenges.
4. How prepared do you and other departments feel with the changes coming?
Western has done a marvelous job of preparing for the return of students, staff, and the community to our campus. The incredible leadership at Western and the high level of communication has been paramount to helping me and my staff feel safe, prepared, and ready for the upcoming year. We know things may change at any moment, but speaking for myself, I feel prepared, informed, supported, and valued. I really do feel Western is doing a great job helping us all “get” and feel ready.
5. What are your hopes for the future as things normalize?
I hope we all learn that we can do more than we think we can. We can adjust at a moment’s notice when we need to. We can still move forward despite incredible obstacles. We can support each other and receive support when we are most uncertain, afraid, confused, scared, frustrated, and in turn, find ways to move forward and not just carry on, but move onward, upward, and forward.