With the month of February nearing, Harvard coach Bill Decker (Greenfield, Mass.) and his Ivy League colleagues are grooming their teams for the 2022 season with a level of excitement that hasn’t been reached in years.
Since the Crimson won the last Ancient Eight title played in 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted two spring seasons, shortening one and completely canceling the last. Summer and fall ball marked the team’s first steps towards a “normal” season, and Decker is excited about the level of play out of what will be a very new-looking group.
“We could tell that they competed this summer and came back with good focus,” said Decker, whose club made its first NCAA tournament appearance since 2005 during the last full season in 2019. The team hadn’t won more than 22 games since that same season.
Looking ahead, Decker feels “we’ve got some arms that, if they can fit to the plan, give us a chance to have success. I thought we defended pretty well. The one thing we’re always trying to figure out is what the lineup will look like, but we’ve got some good leadership, and we got to see other guys piggyback (the captains) and make the most of their opportunities.”