Travel restriction nixes EHS baseball trip to Georgia

Enid's Maddux Mayberry heads to third with a triple against Bartlesville during the home opener March 2 at David Allen Memorial Ballpark. (Billy Hefton / Enid News & Eagle)

Concerns over the potential spread of COVID-19 virus have impacted Enid High School's baseball team.

An email was sent out to EHS families and staff Thursday afternoon by Enid Athletic Director Billy Tipps that, among other things, stated "To protect the safety of our students, staff and local residents, Enid Public Schools has canceled all out-of-state travel for students and staff through the end of March." The letter went on to state "travel for the remainder of the school year will be evaluated at the end of the month."

That meant the baseball team's trip to Georgia, slated for March 26-28 was one of the casualties of the travel ban.

"The safety of our students is paramount to anything else," Tipps said on Thursday. Tipps said EPS Superintendent Dr. Darrell Floyd "is talking to other school districts and state department of education and taking in information. We are staying on top of it with as much information we can gather.

"Nothing is more important than safety and staying calm," Tipps said.

Plainsmen baseball head coach Brad Gore said he understood the reason for the travel restriction.

"It's hard for the kids, but everybody understands the situation we are in," Gore said on Thursday. "We just felt like for our kids' sake we just need to stay around here."

Gore said the Plainsmen, who are still slated to participate at the out-of-town Owasso Festival this weekend, are actively seeking to replace the games lost due to the travel ban.

"I've been in contact with about four different schools and we think we will be able to get something done," he said. "That's a great facility down there (in Georgia) and I'm sorry they won't be able to play there, but we're doing what's best for our kids."

The Plainsmen are coming off a 4-3 extra innings win on Tuesday at Edmond Memorial, a game in which they led 3-1 going into the bottom of the 7th inning. The Bulldogs tied the game in the 7th in a game that was eerily similar to the night before when Enid let a 4-1 lead get away with a five-run 7th-inning outburst from Memorial as Enid fell 6-4.

"Those two games were pretty important for us," Gore said. "We found out a few things we needed to find out. To be able to rebound the next night could be a changing game for us as far as the team goes in having that same kind of adversity and overcoming it. It's still early and we have to find our roles slowly."

The Plainsmen open the Owasso Festival Friday at 12:30 p.m. against Life Prep.

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Ruthenberg is sports editor for the Enid News & Eagle.

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