1. Introduce yourself.
My name is Chase Geffert; I'm going to be a senior at Penn, and I am from Noe Valley, California.
2. Walk me through your average day of quarantine.
I'm working a remote internship, and it was supposed to be in Philly, so I started waking up every day at 5:15 a.m., and I work until 2:00 p.m. And then around 2:30 p.m., I usually do my workout for the day, which takes me about an hour and a half, two hours. And then I go home, watch some TV, eat some dinner, and go to bed and start all over again.
3. What's been an absolute necessity for you during quarantine?
Hmm... I would say the shows that Netflix has been coming out with. They seem to time it perfectly so that right when I finished another one and the [next] one's there for me, like I just binge watched "Showing Sunset," which has been one of my favorite shows so far.
4. What has your experience playing soccer at Penn been like and what does it mean to you?
The experience is great; it's everything that I wanted it to be. It's a small enough school where I feel like I know people when I walk on campus, and people know that I'm on the soccer team, but it's also big enough where I'm not seeing the same people every day. And I just love my teammates so much, we really get along super well. Playing for an Ivy League school is tough academically, but it’s still competitive which I like. There's no sacrifice of competition, which is one of the things I was looking for in the recruiting process.
5. What are some of the things you love about soccer?
I really like that the Ivy league, while obviously filled with academically rigorous institutions, still puts a lot of focus on soccer. So, for example, we're taken care of super well. We always have the nicest facilities to train in. Wherever we travel, it's super nice. And I also just love that every single game that we play feels like a championship game because it’s so competitive in that sense.
6. What made you choose the role of center back or why are you drawn to a defensive role?
I've been playing that position my whole life, and I think it really suits me as a person. I’m generally the loudest on the field. I feel like in that role, I’m really able to lead my team and sort of ground them from that back spot.
7. How much do you normally practice when you're with Penn’s soccer team and how has that compared to quarantine?
It's a lot different in quarantine because we're alone. But when we’re at school, we practice two and a half to three hours a day, usually six days a week, including every game. Even in the off-season, we practice one and a half to two hours a day. When we’re in quarantine, you can practice for as long as you want, but it's not really the same when you're just by yourself. Soccer is 11 people per team, 22 people on the field. So that's again, a little bit different.
8. What are you most excited for about returning to Penn?
I'm just excited to get back on campus and be with my teammates. Obviously it's going to be a different situation, not going to be the same as it has been in the past three years, but I mean, we're going to work through it as a team and just do as much as we can. I think that we're super disciplined and we're super diligent, so hopefully when we get back to campus, we can follow all the protocols, do everything we're supposed to do, and hopefully work towards training together as a team, but I'm just excited to be in the same spot right now. We're all over the country. So on campus it'll be better.
9. How do you expect social distancing and safe habits to fare during this fall semester? And 10. As a student-athlete with a season at stake, do you feel more inclined to follow protocols?
Yeah, I completely agree. I mean, obviously athletes have something else that they're working towards and another huge reason why they have to go back to campus. It's not just willy nilly. So I think we definitely do have a lot more at stake. Even if we're doing all the right things and we're following protocols and we're respecting all the guidelines and stuff, we can't really control what everyone else is doing, but we're also affected by that which is unfortunate. But I'm hoping that people are taking it seriously just because there's a lot more at stake than people realize. And I think, hopefully when we get back to campus, people realize it's a much bigger deal than they may be thinking. Hanging out in large groups isn't going to benefit anyone. I totally agree that athletes have a lot more at stake, just in the nature of what we do. Since we're in such close contact all the time, we really have to be cognizant.
11. What are some of the least talked about challenges of being an athlete?
I think this is not unique to quarantine or any of the things going on with COVID-19, but I think time management as an athlete. We just have so many other obligations that you don't even think about as a normal student. But I think just managing that time and scheduling classes is a big one. A lot of the teachers aren't as willing to accommodate specific athletes, so scheduling classes can become difficult, especially [since] this is related to COVID-19, but since our practice times are likely going to have to change because we can't all be on the field at once. We're going to have to work around that with classes and online school. But yeah, I would say the big overarching one is just management and knowing when you have to do your homework, when you have to study, and working that around practices and games and away trips and all that stuff.
12. What’s one thing you miss most about ‘the old normal’? Something you can’t wait to have back when life returns to normal.
[I was with some] people today and we were just talking about some of the things that are going to happen when we get back to campus. And one of the main things is that our locker room is going to be — not off limits, per se — but it's going to be a lot different than it was before. And that was one of my favorite things, like finishing class at around lunch time and going down to the locker room and hanging out and playing music with everyone and all being in that one space. That's something I definitely took for granted that I never thought that I would have to make an appointment to go into my own locker room.
13. What TV show/piece of entertainment are you obsessed with right now?
I would say "Selling Sunset." It’s super, like, trash TV drama reality. They sell a bunch of houses in the L.A. area, and I just like looking at all the houses and being along for the ride.
14. What’s your favorite sport to watch?
College basketball, emphasis on college!
15. Who is the first person you look to in the crowd while playing?
Obviously, my family doesn’t make it out to every game. It's always nice to see, when we play our home games, at least when the boys are home, they come and watch the first game. Other than that, I really like when alumni come too, because they're always cheering loudly and they're always cheering against the other team, so that's fun for us when the alumni are there supporting us. Some of them we never even played with because they're older, but they still come and support, which is great.
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