Editor’s Note: The Appeal is working to feature as many area teams as possible following the temporary shutdown of spring sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today: Yuba City High baseball coaches and players speak out about a forced hiatus to help stop the spread of coronavirus. 

The Yuba City High School baseball team was a mere four games into its 28-game season, when the season and school year were put on hold to try and stop the spread of coronavirus. 

Now, the Honkers are waiting to see if they can resume their season, and try and compete for a Division II Sac-Joaquin Section championship. 

“It’s really disappointing because it was my senior year and colleges were coming to look at me,” said senior infielder and pitcher Drake Richardson. “We’ve been out here for a year just trying to get better for this season. To end it like that is tough.” 

The situation is fluid and evolving daily, so all the players can do is keep working in the hope that the district and CIF will resume spring sports. Earlier this week the CIF and section commissioners stopped short from permanently canceling the seasons, including postseason events. 

Yuba City head baseball coach Dave Rodriguez was told by the league to revise the schedule and be prepared for anything. 

“Hopefully in a couple weeks we’re back at it,” Rodriguez said. “I never thought something like a virus would cancel a baseball season.” 

Rodriguez told his team to remain “optimistic” that the games would return. 

“I told them to stay in the baseball (mind-set) as best as you can,” Rodriguez said. 

He also wants his players to remain healthy by adhering to state and public health guidelines. 

Rodriguez said the decision to halt the season to try and get a handle on COVID-19 was the correct move. 

“The district made the right decision,” Rodriguez said. 

Now it’s about remaining clean and healthy so the Honkers can return in the event baseball comes back. 

“It’s frustrating, but you never know if you’re going to come back and play so you got to keep practicing,” junior Bryson Reif said. “Do what you can do to get better.” 

Richardson said he is listening to his parents a lot more too. 

“My mom comes in she says, ‘Wash your hands immediately,’ so before I leave I wash my hands,” Richardson said. “I take more showers, open the door with my wrists and I don’t get close to people.” 

However, the new guidelines are not affecting his family ties. 

“I can always hug her,” Richardson said. “I still do that.”

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