It has been a very exciting week in the world of Iowa high school sports. First came the announcement Wednesday, May 20 that high school baseball and softball will happen in 2020.
Now comes the challenges of operating a season that has been cut by COVID-19. One such challenge for all teams and conferences involved is how to go about scheduling. Recently, the West Central Activities Conference checked off that box. For both softball and baseball seasons, the conference plans on picking up the schedule with competition right on June 15 and play things out from there. On top of that, there will be no more doubleheaders added to the conference slate.
Another significant point that came about from the conference meeting was that the conference as a whole will not try and determine a conference champion for both softball and baseball.
Regardless of the details, the chance to have a season is the main talking point across conference activities directors, including Van Meter’s Rick Roberts.
“We’re all really excited, especially for the seniors that have had a tough year to play some games this summer,” Roberts said. “The opportunity for these kids to have a season is the most important thing.”
As important as it is for many to have a season, Roberts also pointed out another significant benefit that could come about from having softball and baseball seasons in 2020.
“Winning and losing is secondary at this point,” said Roberts. “Trying to get the country back to some kind of normalcy, maybe softball and baseball can help with that process.”
Within the confines of Van Meter alone, the reopening of the season is big but the potential of what the Bulldogs can do on the softball and baseball diamonds brings even more excitement into the picture. Both programs are coming off of conference titles from last season. That also includes a state title in baseball where the Bulldogs captured the program’s third-ever state championship.
It will certainly be a new normal going forward but for the West Central Activities Conference, the softball and baseball seasons have been set. Now, it’s all about the countdown to the first official practice dates on June 1, followed by official game action on June 15.