OC Baseball Begins Season Amit Covid-19 Restrictions
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought with it many new restrictions within most of the sports being played, baseball is no exception. The Olivet College (OC) baseball team has, however, started their season and will be playing a full 40-game schedule.
The baseball team has been given strict protocols to follow to ensure that they are able to play. One part of these protocols is a Covid-19 testing schedule. All players and coaches are required to receive a Covid-19 test three times a week on non-consecutive days.
“We are having to wear masks when we practice indoors and when we are in dugouts or meeting as a team,” said coach Shelby Dixon, “There will also be a travel roster limit for MIAA games.”
The team, coaches and players alike, are just happy to get to play at all. “… At the end of the day, our guys get to play baseball this year and that’s exciting,” said Dixon.
Other states, such as Indiana and Ohio, do not have the same Covid-19 protocols as the ones in place at OC. This does not, however, stop the Comets from wearing their masks when unable to social distance.
“While they are different, we chose to follow the safer and more responsible avenue of continuing to wear masks when other teams are not,” said Dixon.
Recently, the Comets are able to have fans attend their games. This is the first case of this for any sport season so far at OC since the pandemic began. Each individual player is allowed two tickets for immediate family, as well as 60 students being allowed to attend games. They are still at a disadvantage at away games, because most schools are only allowing home team fans to attend games.
“When we play at opposing fields our team’s parent and fans are usually not allowed to attend,” said Junior Jake Buchs, “This can create an atmosphere that is very hostile to visiting teams since everyone there is rooting against you.”
While coach Dixon is, “cautiously optimistic,” that next season will be played in a pre-Covid fashion, he speaks for the team in saying that they will do whatever is asked of them if it will allow them to play baseball.
“You could tell us that our entire team has to wear pink tutus, and we will do it if it keeps us on the field,” said Dixon.
While the Comets may be off to a slow 1-6 start, they hope to turn things around in their next matchup: a double header against Albion College on their home field March 26.