This year’s senior spring athletes deserve one more shot.
We’re looking to give them that opportunity.
The Record-Eagle is exploring sponsoring senior showcase games for baseball, softball and girls soccer in July after all spring sports were wiped out the coronavirus pandemic.
This is a big undertaking at this juncture, with only about a month to prepare, but one we think is more than worthwhile.
Details are evolving and probably in flux for awhile, but we’re working with area coaches to come up with ideas to make this happen.
Barring unforeseen circumstances — and that’s about all everyone dealt with the last three months — the baseball game July 21 at Turtle Creek Stadium will feature many of the best senior baseball players northern Michigan has to offer on the Traverse City Pit Spitters’ field.
The following day, the Senior Softball Showcase, as it’s tentatively called, takes place at Traverse City West. Softball can’t be held at Turtle Creek Stadium because of the permanent pitcher’s mound there, so hosting that elsewhere frees us up to play more than one game and find a spot for every senior who wants to play one last high school contest.
We’re hoping to also have a soccer game that week, but haven’t gotten as far along in the planning process on that one.
The idea of fielding the Record-Eagle/John Lober Honor Roll track meet came to mind as well, but Lober and myself felt it would be too daunting a task, considering most track athletes haven’t been working out for their specific events and we’d have virtually no way to accurately pick the all-star event’s entrants without any recent data to work with. That’s a shame, but it’s the reality of these weird times.
Whatever we end up doing, it’ll be limited by time, money, social distancing, travel, facilities and governmental guidelines, so it’s likely not going to be perfection, but hopefully it’ll be imperfectly perfect.
Talking with Cody Inglis at the Michigan High School Athletic Association, as long as the game only has 2019-20 seniors, we’re all set to do this. There’s even the possibility they can wear their school uniform under the MHSAA’s one-time provision this year to allow seniors to wear team apparel for a recognition event.
So if you’re a coach of a baseball, softball or girls soccer team in our coverage area — and that goes all the way from Petoskey to Manistee, from Frankfort over to Cadillac and Johannesburg-Lewiston, encompassing about 40 high schools — contact us with ideas, player suggestions or possible assistance.
Let’s give these deserving seniors that last shot. The virus may have robbed their season, but we can give them this.