“As coaches we develop special bonds with our players. Players become family to us. I’ve had these boys for six years now and they are a special group of boys. I know their families enough to say that we all have high expectations for all of them and know they will become successful men in their selected fields of profession. They are all very talented and are good at what they do.
“I will always remember my 2020 team as the ‘team that would’ve.’ I will miss all of them in the dugout, in the hallways, and in the classroom, but I look forward to watching them grow and succeed in life.
“Ending school and the season… this kind of situation was new to everybody and I just really didn’t know how to respond to it. As the days went on that first week and the reality of the pandemic began to set in, all of my thoughts went immediately to the players and to their families.
“I have been watching these boys play baseball since they were in youth league. I know all of their parents and their families. I know the investment that was put in to them over the years (i.e. time, money, hitting lessons, pitching lessons, travel ball) just to see them perform on their highest level in their final year as high school players with hopes of that investment possibly leading to post-secondary opportunities.
“Most importantly, they didn’t get to have the satisfaction of playing out that final season or the families getting to enjoy watching them play out that final season. On top of that, we didn’t get to play any home games due to weather early in the season. The whole ordeal has been heartbreaking for myself, the players, and their families.
“We played the Friday night before the shutdown and we were scheduled to play again on Monday. We had all heard the rumors about the spreading of the virus and how it could possibly shut us down for the coming week (we had spring break the following week so we would’ve been back on track after a couple of weeks). We talked about maybe missing a few games, but we would keep throwing and hitting on our own if anything happened so we could pick right back up with area play when we got back and never miss a beat.
“None of us knew that would be our last time meeting. We didn’t talk about comfort or encouragement. I didn’t get that closure with my team and that hurts the most. I didn’t get to tell them how proud I was of all their improvements and their accomplishments. I didn’t get to tell them how much they meant to me, to our baseball program, and to our school. I didn’t get to tell them how much they were appreciated.”
– Coach Josh Price