Virus striking out prep baseball

Enid's Colby Jarnagin bats against Edmond Memorial March 9, 2020 at David Allen Memorial Ballpark. (Billy Hefton / Enid News & Eagle)

Usually it's rain that wreaks havoc with the early part of the prep baseball season. At this point, rain would be welcomed as opposed to the uncertainty that is surrounding the season due to postponements arising out of concerns regarding the coronavirus.

All school sports activities are currently suspended through April 6 as announced by the state Board of Education on Monday. But the season for some was already on hiatus.

Enid Plainsmen baseball head coach Brad Gore, whose team had just completed a rain-shorted Owasso Festival appearance, had scheduled a five-game baseball festival that involved five schools that would have been played Thursday and Friday at David Allen Memorial Ballpark. Those game were scheduled to make up for the cancellation of the Edmond Festival, which was called off due to coronavirus concerns.

However, Enid's hastily scheduled festival never even made it to the practice cage.

"Within 30 minutes (after posting it), I got a call from Ponca City's coach telling me they were being shut down and would not be able to participate," Gore said.

Shortly thereafter, Gore received a text from Enid Public Schools advising it was shutting down all activities until April 3. That of course is now extended to at least April 6.

"We needed to play, but it wasn't to be," he said.

Pioneer High School baseball head coach Dave Reisen also has found himself dealing with similar circumstances. The Mustangs had their game rained out Monday against Drummond but still had hopes of playing Alva on Tuesday, that is until the Board of Education decision. But it didn't just impact their game against Alva.

"We had an 18-team festival scheduled for Thursday through Saturday that got canceled," Reisen said. "We also were hosting a tournament (the Chisholm Trail Invitational) here next week."

Reisen said the team held practice at 1 p.m. Monday, anticipating the Board's decision. Reisen said it was easier to have the kids there to notify them than to try to text them.

"They were obviously disappointed," Reisen said. "I told my kids this is way bigger than any of us."

Reisen remains guardedly hopeful the season will resume after April 6.

"I hope we get some sort of season," he said. "We have a lot of seniors that put in a lot of work. Unlike the colleges, the can't get another year of eligibility. I'll get to coach again, but for some of these kids, this could be it."

Gore expressed similar sentiments.

"[Not playing again] would be disappointing not just for seniors, but all of our kids," he said. "It takes a lot of preparation and it impacts a lot of people."

He said without organized practices being permitted, the players will have to work out on their own in anticipation of the season starting back up.

"It will be like starting over again at this point," he said. "We would take anything and our kids would too. Hopefully we can get to April 6."

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