• By Philip Green

Behind the lens of athletics

Due to COVID-19, the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) cancelled all fall sports. Teams are still allowed to participate in practices and lifting, but no competition will occur at Minot State for the fall semester. Athletes and coaches aren’t the only ones impacted by the cancellation of fall sports. All members of the athletic department are adjusting to the lack of competitions, including Minot State Athletics Assistant Photographer Joshua Strong. Strong is usually seen on the sidelines of every Beavers athletics event, capturing the games through his lens. This year, the multimedia studies student has had to make some adjustments.

“It doesn’t add difficulty. I don’t like to look at it that way. Not having fall sports just adds a challenge to be more innovative with our content,” Strong said.

One of those innovations includes capturing athletes in an element that we haven’t seen from Strong as frequently.

“(I have been capturing) mainly practices,” Strong explained.

This is Strong’s first year working under athletics, and not being able to photograph games has been unfortunate, but he is enjoying his role, nonetheless.

“It’s been something I have wanted since I started capturing sports here at Minot State. I appreciate Sean Arbaut, (director of athletic photography), for everything he has done for me to bring me on board,” Strong said.

Despite the changes that COVID-19 has brought to the athletics world this year, some traditions from the past were able to stay. One of those included the annual media day for athletes and coaches. This is a chance for athletes to put their game-day uniforms on and participate in some creative photoshoots and videography. Strong reflected on his experience this year.

“Working media days has been amazing. Anyone who has been a part of my photography journey and pursuits knows that working for athletics has been a huge goal of mine. Words don’t quite do justice to say how much I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of their team and get experience that applies to what I want to do after graduation,” Strong explained.

There’s a chance for competitions to return in the spring for the NSIC. Whenever they do return, Strong can’t put into words how excited he’ll be to get back out there doing what he loves.

“I don’t think one word describes that. I’m just looking forward to that incredible game day feeling. There’s no way to properly describe it, other than every fiber in my body is exuberant,” Strong said.

Strong may have missed out on capturing football, volleyball, soccer, and cross country this fall, but it might just work out that he will be here next fall to make up for what he missed.

“I recently found out that I will be here for an extra semester. I’m hoping I can continue my internship under Sean and be involved with athletics in some capacity,” Strong explained.

As Strong continues to innovate with his photography this fall, Minot State Athletics eagerly awaits the magic he can capture with his lens once sports are back. Until then, check out any Red and Green issues from last year to see Strong’s work or visit his Instagram account, @joshua.w.strong.

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