Spring couldn’t come soon enough for Joel Lara and his teammates at Franklin Pierce University.
After the team’s defense of a record sixth Northeast-10 Conference tournament championship was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic last spring, life for Lara (Boston, Mass.) and the rest of the Ravens changed in a hurry.
The team was sent home from the Rindge, N.H., campus after 15 games, and the focus turned to the summer and the 2021 season. The setting was different, but the goal of what came next — whenever it came — still existed.
“Obviously, it was sad news when we found out our season was over, but I was able to stay active and hit as much as I could with some of my boys from home,” said Lara, who attended Snowden International School in Boston’s Copley Square before trekking north to Franklin Pierce. “Most of the game is mental and it was a bit of a challenge not playing for so long. I was able to take a step back and see what I could do to improve my game.”