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: Sutter High baseball and softball speak out about a forced hiatus to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
Both the Sutter High baseball and softball programs are built around competing for section titles each and every season.
The Huskies softball team is the three-time defending Northern Section Division IV section champion; while baseball bounced back to claim the 2019 Division III title with an 8-1 win over Corning.
Softball started out the 2020 campaign 10-0; baseball 3-2 before everything sports-wise was temporarily shut down due to public health concerns surrounding coronavirus. Sutter’s campus was closed on March 16 and students, athletes and teachers have been working at home ever since.
It’s a difficult situation for everyone, including those in charge of relaying important messages surrounding the pandemic to teenagers.
“For a lot of these guys it is an outlet, they enjoy the game and playing with each other,” said Sutter baseball coach Stewart Peterson. “It’s hard not to have emotions when something like this affects their daily lives including baseball.”
Peterson is hoping that Sutter can get back on the field after school reopens on April 20.
“We’re waiting to see how it develops. Things are changing so fast (with different orders and expectations),” Peterson said. “There’s nothing official (but) we hope to get going again in April.”
Peterson checks in with his players frequently to see how they’re doing with the stay-at-home order.
He also encourages his players to continue working on their skills and academics while sitting at home.
“I told them to do things on your own,” he said. “I feel bad for our guys especially our seniors … We haven’t had any closure. We’re still holding out hope that we will be able to play sometime in the spring.”
While everyone is disappointed, Peterson said the team and school are in agreement with the reasoning behind the stay-at-home order and temporary cancelation of spring sports.
Softball starts season 10-0
Sutter softball was on a tear to begin its run at a four-peat in division IV before everything came to a screeching halt amid COVID-19.
“This is a really special team,” said head coach Stefanie Danna. “We started out 10-0 and hit 18 homers on the season.”
Now it’s all about remaining in contact with each other via the group text message chat that Danna helped set up to stay in contact with her athletes.
“We’re talking to them about staying in shape, hitting and throwing,” Danna said.
Danna said she even gets a few videos sent to her from time to time.
“They will send a video here or there of them throwing or taking ground balls,” Danna said.
Danna said she’s also checking in to see where her team is emotionally because for her seniors the latter half of the year is filled with milestones like championships, prom, graduation. The 2020 class hopes to celebrate in person these cherished high school memories.
“In their minds they’re ready for April 20 so they can go back to work as a group,” Danna said.