March 1, 2020. WVU Coliseum. WVU gymnastics teammates celebrate following completing their bars routines.

March 1, 2020. WVU Coliseum. WVU gymnastics teammates celebrate following completing their bars routines.

West Virginia gymnastics head coach Jason Butts said that his team was just hitting its stride as the season came to an abrupt end in the middle of March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was a fun season that was happening,” Butts told the media on Wednesday.  “They’re all fun, but this team especially had a ton of motivation and a ton of spirit, so it was definitely a little bit of a grieving process here for a little while for the team, but they’re doing pretty good with it now.”

This season, WVU was set to host the Big 12 Gymnastics Championship as the year was winding down. Each team in the conference gets an opportunity to host the championship by rotating to the different teams in alphabetical order.  Since the Mountaineers missed out this season, Butts is looking for the possibility that they could host the championship next year.

“We expressed our interest in hosting the championship again,” he said. “I know that the talks are ongoing and I’m hoping that we have a really strong shot at that.  I believe that we do but I can’t confirm it 100% right now.”

Now that the athletes are all home with the season over, they are still in contact with Butts about conditioning and what they should be doing to stay prepared for the future.

“They want to be here; they want to be in Morgantown. The season was cut short for them,” Butts said. “They are very resilient and they’re doing a great job of just staying positive and being supportive at home.” 

Despite the tough and unprecedented environment that many people are in right now, Butts has a message that he has been reiterating to his team throughout the entire situation since the season ended.

“We didn’t quite get to the dreams that we had for this year, but it doesn’t mean we give up,” he said.  “It doesn’t mean that we stop climbing.  We keep working hard.  That’s what Mountaineers do.”

Sports Editor

Matthew Digby is a senior at WVU majoring in journalism with a minor in sport communication. He has been working at the Daily Athenaeum for one year and is working as the Sports Editor for the first time this fall. He is from Ottawa Lake, Michigan.