"The kids are a little disappointed to start, we had four good days of practice in," said Lansingburgh Head Coach Matt Cater. "Then the news came down that we were going to be postponed for a little while. It was a little disappointing to start, but the kids are trying to stay positive and we are going to have the waiting mode until we hear when we can start."
Lansingburgh finished last season 7-9 overall with a 6-9 record in Colonial Council competition. The Knights rounded out the bottom of the Liberty Division in the standings at the end of the 2019 season. With the coronavirus...pandemic rapidly growing, Section II has cancelled competition until April 19. With schools remaining closed while students take classes online, teams across the Capital Region have not had the chance to practice.
Cater hasn't kept his team in the dark at this time. Cater has relayed news on the situation to his team while also sending along workout plans and drills designed to do best in quarantine.
"I've been in constant contact with the kids from the very beginning to keep them informed," said Cater. "For the last couple of weeks I have been sending them drills that they should do on their own, just to stay active and to prepare ourselves in hopes of being able to salvage some sort of a season. If that comes to light, we have to be ready."
It's the only thing Cater can realistically do at the moment. Along with the drills and workouts, the team is participating in groupchats and discussions to help keep spirits high, something every team in the section is trying to do at the moment.
"We're just trying to keep them in baseball mode and focused on something other than what the news is telling us on a daily basis," said Cater. "For the most part they seem to be pretty positive. It's hard to get a good determination on what their feelings are, but they seem to be pretty positive and hope to get back to work and at some point this slows itself down and we can save some part of our season."
Lansingburgh is young with just three seniors including football quarterback and basketball player Jacob Lapham returning on the mound. Cater also has a group of juniors and a handful of sophomores to help lead the way for the Knights this season.
"We had four days of workouts and on the fifth day we were going to have our teams formed," said Cater. "That got cancelled because of the unfortunate circumstances."
Its difficult to know what you have after just four days of practice, and with just three seniors, Cater is looking to young guys and JV returners to step into some pivotal roles early on.
The situation forces all players, especially the young up and comers, to mature fast and forces them to work out on their own if they want to find success.
"It puts a little bit more of an onus on them preparing for themselves," said Cater. "In an everyday practice it is my responsibility to make sure we are prepared and give them the best opportunity to be successful. Without the hands on contact or the daily contact of practices, it's more responsibility on them."
Cater feels that whatever happens if a season does end up happening, it will happen fast, with little to no time to prepare, so this is when the work is put in.
"We're not going to have those months prior to the season that we would have had if things played out normal," said Cater. "For me, the uncertainty gets on me sometimes, in regards to where are we going. I have a family and I worry about them being safe and my own two kids being safe, I worry about my players being safe. I try to remain positive and try not to worry about the things I can't control and worry about the things I can."
Another fact that many forget is that a missed season means a season players are not getting recruited to play college baseball. For the juniors and sophomores who had to make the most of their time already, they now need to really focus.
"It's an unfortunate situation for them as well," said Cater. "The seniors at this point have a good understanding of what they were doing and where they wanted to go. The younger clansmen, the sophomores and juniors, who might have that opportunity to get out and be seen this year it's on the back burner. I hope for those guys and possibly the senior who hasn't made a decision yet, is that they get the chance to be seen in some sort of summer ball situation where they can get their name out there and show they are capable."
Lansingburgh and Cater want to be playing baseball right now. That's not exclusive to them, everyone wants to be playing baseball right now. Unfortunately, right now, the emphasis is on safety for our families and communities, which is something Cater voices to his team everyday.
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