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Starting over again

Southwest baseball prepares for next season.

"We played our seniors the last game, because we had a feeling this was happening. And so, we just told them, 'guys, go out there and play like this is it.' And so, I think that's something that these kids will be able to learn from this is that it can be taken from them."

Southwest head baseball coach Matthew Redden recalls the painful experience his student athletes experienced up at a tournament in Laughlin, Nevada in mid-March.

The rapid spread of the Coronavirus quickly ended the dreams of every prep student athlete, including the Eagles baseball team.

12 of the 20 kids on the Southwest roster are graduating seniors that will never again see the field in the purple and gold uniforms.

Besides Luis Gracia going to Christian Community College in Redlands, California and Eric Rojo taking his talents to Division 2's Northwest Oklahoma, most the departing seniors may never play the sport again at a competitive level.

Besides bringing comfort and advice to his outgoing seniors, Coach Redden is also investing in the future of the Eagles program, by getting his underclassmen as prepared as possible under the conditions of the current social distancing mandates.

"I'm returning 5 or 6 really good juniors, that will be seniors next year. So, I've been in contact with them. Really relying on them to get the word out to the younger guys to say 'hey, we're working out. We're hitting.' Because a lot of them have cages themselves. 'We're hitting in our cages, we're finding ways to run, we're finding ways to throw.'"

Even though the returners will never be able to make up for the lost playing experience of a cancelled season; Redden hopes they never take for granted any future opportunities, hoping his kids would play every play like it's their last when the time returns for them to take the field.

Article Topic Follows: Sports

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Rob Fram

Rob Fram rejoined the KYMA News Team in February 2010.


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