Varsity baseball quarantined after multiple cases of COVID-19

Rachel Strong '21, Page Editor

Graphic by Rachel Strong ’21.

A little over a year ago spring sport athletes waited restlessly for news on their long awaited seasons. Many had been training rigorously for months in preparation, a commitment that countless athletes are more than willing to make. So when the announcement came that the varsity baseball team had to be put in quarantine yet again, coaches and athletes were disappointed.

“We were obviously very upset because we lost the entire year in 2020,” varsity baseball coach, Dan Griesbaum said. “Also, it was a bit confusing in terms of what teams had to just quarantine only the affected players as opposed to those entire teams that had to be shut down entirely. We were told that we had to shut down the entire team because there was an “epidemiological link”.”

According to Griesbaum, having his team quarantine will affect the season negatively due to lack of practicing and playing as a team.

“It will be especially hard in the first few days/games we come back because we have not been able to practice as a team for 14 days,” Griesbaum said. “We lost 7 non-league games that will be difficult to make up.”

Senior Will White ’21 said he is worried about the lack of preparation for upcoming games.

“I was really excited to get back out there and play with my friends since last year got canceled,” White said. “Now I’m not that excited, more nervous because there is going to be a lot of pressure to perform well with limited amounts of practice and team bonding.”

White said he doesn’t understand why his entire team had to quarantine when it was only one person that tested positive.

“We have to get tested every Monday through the school and if the other players on my team were to test negative and the one person tested positive, why can’t the players that tested negative still have the chance to play”, White said.

Player Bennett Smihal ’21 said he hopes that there is the opportunity to make up games.

“This is going to be my last season playing baseball at South and I want to be able to play the games that we lost,” Smihal said. “Our coach is trying to make up the games later in the season, but it’s difficult to find teams that have openings, or that are willing to stretch their pitching staffs by jamming in games in a short window of time.”

Griesbaum said that there are strict guidelines in place to try to prevent teams getting shut down.

“We have told our players right from the beginning that it was very important to pay attention to Covid protocols at all times, both on the field, in school, and socially,” Griesbaum said. “It has been very difficult for our players and coaches to see other teams playing when our team is shut down.”

Griesbaum said he is still looking forward to the rest of the season no matter what obstacles are in the way.

“We will eventually get where we want to be by working harder to make up for what we’ve missed,” Griesbaum said.