Baseball in the Time of ‘Rona

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This photo was taken by Zara Morgan at the 10-12th baseball tryouts.

Zara Morgan, Staff Writer

Despite the fact that this school year has been astronomically different,, sports still goes on. Baseball Tryouts were held on January 18th from 2:00pm-4:30pm. With the pandemic still active coming into 2021, there have been some adjustments that sports at McIntosh has had to make to keep student athletes safe.

“I believe that the locker rooms will be the most different this year then any other just because of lack of space,” says Junior Blake Hiley.

Coach Tom Kelley says, “The biggest adjustment has to be the COVID world that we live in now. There are guidelines and strategies that we follow to prevent the spread as much as possible.” Some of these guidelines include limiting the number of fans allowed at games. Kelley says, “Unfortunately, we will have to limit our number of fans we allow at the games this season. It’s all part of the COVID protocols set forth by GHSA.”

“I think the biggest difference between past years and this year is that people are more aware of being in large groups altogether and try to avoid being in close proximity with one another,” says McIntosh Junior Sean Bailey. In regards to the performance of the team he says, “Thankfully, COVID-19 has not affected our ability to practice as much, however, we do implement smaller groups in a lot of drills. Most players have also had a lot of time during quarantine to work on and develop their game so that we can have an even better team this year.”

Many people that were supposed to try out on this date had to reschedule for later because of quarantining. Landon Wilde is a junior at McIntosh High School and primarily plays as a catcher for the baseball team. Wilde says, “Since tryouts are this weekend and I won’t be out of quarantine until next Thursday I’ll have to have a late tryout,” says Wilde. “It’s usually for players who play other sports like basketball who can’t try out because their sport is still going on.”

One of the facts that we all know is that when students are quarantined, they are not allowed to go anywhere. This also means that many players have limited ways of practicing. “Being quarantined has really affected my ability to try out for the team. I’m not allowed to leave my house so I can’t go to Home Plate (our practice facility) or a field to practice. I’m worried I won’t be as prepared as I can be,” says Wilde.

Kelley, however, believes in his team. Kelley says, “I believe our team will still be able to perform as well as we have in the past. Once the season begins and the guys get into a routine, it will all fall into place. Players naturally develop their skill sets over the course of the season, so that won’t be an issue.”

“Overall being quarantined has been a huge cause of stress with school, my social life, and especially baseball.”

There are still some bright sides during the pandemic. Despite the fact that there is a pandemic going around, players are still ready to play baseball. Kelley says, “Our numbers are actually the same as last year, with a small increase of participants. COVID doesn’t seem to have affected our numbers at this point.” Up to this point, COVID has not affected the number of games that baseball has scheduled for the season eithers. “At his point, Covid has not limited our number of games so far. We do expect COVID to play a role in games scheduled this season, but we hope for the best for now.” says Kelley. “ It’s just something we have to deal with currently with the situation we are in.”

“We just hope that students can come out to support the program any chance they get this spring. We are hopeful that we will have a successful season, and we want to be able to share it with the student body and staff,” says Wilde.