Marysville High School baseball player Michael Beverlin, right, uses a pvc pipe to keep his shoulders squared during a drill earlier this week. MHS head coach Nick Blake, left, watches. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
While Major League Baseball players and teams haggle over how many games will be played and what salaries will look like during an abbreviated 2020 season, there are some athletes who are busy honing their craft.
“We’re just trying to make up for lost time,” said Marysville High School head coach Nick Blake.
The coach was referring to the summer workouts that have been under way for a couple of weeks.
The 2020 high school spring sports season was halted by the coronavirus.
Preseason practices were shut down on Friday, March 13 and the entire season was sacrificed due to the pandemic.
School sports were given the go-ahead to begin workout sessions on June 1.
The MHS diamond squad has been hard at work in order to get back into the swing of things.
“We’re using five different locations at the school since we’re limited to 10 athletes in one place at one time,” said Blake.
Players, who number between 30 and 40 each day, are spread out over the Ed Starling indoor hitting facility, the varsity and freshman baseball diamonds, the junior varsity softball field and the school’s parking lot.
The Monarchs are receiving refresher courses in the basic fundamentals of the sport.
“We’ve been taking things slowly the past week,” said Blake. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to begin Phase II of workouts next week.
“If we can, we will be doing more team-oriented activities like we would do during regular spring practices,” he said. “We could even conduct intra-squad scrimmages at some point.”
The Monarchs are holding workouts each week from 7-9 a.m., Monday through Thursday.
“That’s a good time for us to work because there aren’t too many scheduling conflicts that early in the morning,” said Blake.
“We could change our schedule a little bit when we get into Phase II.”
Blake would have entered his second season at the Monarch helm had COVID-19 not shut down spring sports.
“I was really hoping to see a big jump from where we were in 2019 (when the Monarchs finished with a 15-12 record),” he said. “That first year is always a steep acclimation period for both the players and the new coach and his staff.
“Right now, we’re still in the same place as we were before the shutdown came in March,” said Blake. “We’re not where we would be if we had played the spring season, but nobody else is either,” he said. “Still, I think we’re in a pretty good spot,” said the coach. “A lot of the guys have been working out on their own at home and most are playing travel baseball on the weekends.”
...For the full story, select an option below.