Coaches feel the effects of COVID-19 on the future of their teams

Abby Miller | Staff Writer

The Coronavirus has affected spring sports teams in more ways than one. With all of the work put in in the pre- season, it can be hard for not only players, but also coaches wondering what the team’s next step is, and when teams will be able to get back to the grind and showcase their hard work.

With countless hours of fall work, winter preparation, and 4 man training sessions in the off season, the baseball team had high hopes of a successful season. However, with the season being put on pause, the players and coaching staff have been giving their all to stay positive and do everything they can to be ready when the time comes to compete. 

Baseball head coach Curt Bly said that while this time is difficult for everyone on the team, they have been relying on the mental training and preparation they did before the season and utilizing that as much as they can. 

“We’ve spent time together virtually and our message as coaches has been that it’s easy to feel that disappointment, it’s real and there’s no doubt that it exists, especially with the fantastic roster we had coming into this year,” Bly said. “But, we’re trying to focus on what we can control. We’ve been focusing and relying on our mental training and our mental prep that we’ve done as a program and just try to control the controllables and until someone tells us differently, we’re planning on May 1st now.”

Another factor of not only baseball, but many other spring sports, that is now being affected is the question of college recruiting and playing at the next level. Whether the player has committed to play at the collegiate level and signed with a University, or is a senior who is still looking to showcase their abilities with hopes of more opportunities for recruitment, Bly said these athletes are all affected in some way, shape, or form. 

“The guys that were still pursuing [recruitment] are affected, obviously not having a senior season, there’s a lot of guys that this was going to be a big opportunity for,” Bly said. “Even stretching it into what the NCAA is doing – awarding additional years of eligibility for their athletes – that’s going to have a trickle down effect even for the guys that have been recruited, there can be an impact on them based on what individual Universities will be willing to do with the extra players.” 

The men’s tennis team has also faced struggles with their season. Unlike the baseball team, however, the tennis team wasn’t able to get much of a start at all before their season was put on pause. The tennis team was chasing after a third consecutive state championship, and with all of the cancellations, head coach Mike Reid said that has been a tough pill to swallow for the team and coaching staff. 

“We had nearly completed tryouts when the season was suspended, so we really hadn’t got to work yet,” Reid said. “This was a huge disappointment for the coaches and the team.  We were looking forward to competing for a third straight state championship. However, we are still holding out hope that there will be a shortened season.”

Although this is a disappointing time, Reid has hope that his players can continue to work towards success in the future – whether that’s this season if they are able to resume, or the upcoming years for his young team. 

“Our entire team is young and they’ll have plenty of time in the next couple of years to showcase their talents in USTA tournaments and in high school,” Reid said. “If we do get to play a shortened season, we will work as hard as we can to put our players and team in contention for state championships, team and individual.”

Tennis photos by Mia Sweitzer

Baseball photos by Tanner Pearson