By Caden Shows – Student Journalist at Minarets Press
Although baseball season for Minarets is still months away, steps are already being taken to ensure that when practices and games begin, players and coaches will be safe.
According to head varsity baseball coach Jesse Darrah, the practice season may start as soon as the county and school district allows. Due to the fact that the team missed out on 60 practices last season, as well as 20 games, Darrah feels they have a lot of development to catch up on. If everything goes smoothly, he expects that actual games will begin sometime in mid-March and run through mid-June.
Both Darrah and assistant varsity baseball coach Bob Siebenberg agreed that if baseball is to be played, there will be safety protocols that will need to be followed. This includes following all county guidelines for COVID testing, wearing face masks as well as temperature checks before all practices and games. Siebenberg also stated that when players are on the field, the non-starters and coaches will be in the dugout with masks. When players are up to bat, non-starters will remain in the bullpen and socially distance with masks. Additionally, all players will be spread out during warm-ups and whenever possible. According to Darrah, if a player is found to have COVID-19, they will not be permitted to play in the game, and contact tracing will be done.
Both Darrah and Siebenberg explained that safety is very important to them, and they take it very seriously. Coach Darrah also said that another safety measure will require the team to use several balls during the game. Each team will provide their own balls and have them changed out after each inning. As far as spectators go, Darrah hasn’t heard how that will be handled. He assumes that if it is allowed, it will likely be under socially distancing guidelines. The status of the snack bar is undecided as well. If it is allowed, it will likely be only for pre-packaged items, and no hot food will be served.
Although this season may be different than that of the past, if they can play through the month of June, Coach Darrah feels this will be a great opportunity for the seniors. In the past, many senior activities conflicted with end-of-season baseball games, and players were not able to focus solely on baseball. With graduation behind them, they will have more time to devote to the sport which will make it more fun for the team. Both Darrah and Siebenberg stated that they feel there is a strong team returning, and both coaches are excited to see what Minarets Baseball can do this year.
Read the original article on Minarets Press: https://minaretspress4.wixsite.com/minaretspress/post/playing-baseball-during-covid