Article & Photo By: Evan Sacher
With our small pocket of the country finally crawling back towards normality, high school sports teams are emerging from non-existence into full swing in the blink of an eye. Santa Rosa High School’s baseball team began conditioning on March 1st, and immediately after, Coach Paige Dumont began conditioning work with the team.
The first day that the NBL decided to have a season, Coach Paige immediately scheduled over 20 games to give the team a nearly full season. “Paige is not just a coach; he’s a mentor,” said sophomore outfielder Xavian Dominguez. “He teaches you the game and connects it to real life in a way that also relates to baseball.”
After a year of the field laying abandoned due to restrictions put in place by the District, much of the first week of conditioning was spent preparing the field to avoid injuries. After countless hours of field work, the baseball facilities were playable once again which marked the start of training.
COVID-19’s impact on the number of athletes this year was felt across the team immediately upon the beginning of training. During a normal year, The first days of training usually saw upwards of 50 athletes all trying to gain a spot on the team. This year with the lack of advertisement through announcements and in school sign ups, only 24 athletes were at training throughout the first two weeks. “It’s definitely crazy how small we are this year,” sophomore Marty Geffner commented. “We went from having 30 guys on JV to having 12 on a good day.”
With this monumental decrease in numbers, fully eliminating the JV program at SRHS was definitely in the conversation as being able to complete a season with multiple games a week going on for months would take a serious toll on the health of players. The ultimate decision that was reached was for the team rosters to be very loose with players being sent up and down to accommodate the needs for each team throughout the season.
Despite the unusual start to the season paired with the new rules put in place for the pandemic, Santa Rosa’s Baseball team looks forward to a season where they hope to complete their goals from last season of establishing themselves as a powerhouse in the division.