Summer baseball in the Connie Mack league has been canceled, the latest athletic victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dashing the hopes of Boulder City High School baseball players, who haven’t been on the diamond since March 11, the latest cancellation will continue the drought for Eagles itching to get back in action.
“Sitting out has been extremely difficult,” junior Troy Connell said. “Missing out on a whole season of play is not how I saw my year going. I was really looking forward to getting back on the field this summer. The competition and time spent playing with my friends will be missed.”
Affecting more than just baseball, the cancellation of the Southern Nevada Connie Mack league is dire for college recruitment for several Eagle players who have the chance to be collegiate athletes, according to varsity head coach Ed McCann.
“My heart really breaks for these kids,” he said. “Obviously from a competitive standpoint and for love of the game, we want to be out there, but now after missing nearly the entire high school season, this is really going to hamper college recruiting. We have a really talented junior class. I’ve coached at the collegiate level and I believe we have seven college athletes. Not playing this summer, not getting the exposure, is really going to hurt.”
Making the matter even worse from a competitive and recruiting perspective, Eagles players, along with the rest of Nevada, will remained sidelined while athletes from neighboring Utah have already begun constructing plans for a summer season with Rocky Mountain School of Baseball, which starts May 30.
“It’s really unfortunate; that’s all you can say,” McCann said. “There’s nothing we can do about it. Our governor has put a set of rules in place and we have to follow them. It is a little upsetting when you see other states in our country, especially Utah, which isn’t far at all, playing ball this summer; but again, (there’s) nothing we can do. My heart goes out to our kids who just want to play baseball again. I can only imagine how hard it is for them to understand.”
Unable to play games or practice with teammates, Eagles players are eager to get back on the field.
Doing everything they can to stay sharp during quarantine, most players have been hitting off the tee in their backyards or playing catch with their parents. Last season’s reigning 3A player of the year, Blaze Trumble, is taking it a step further after wasting what was supposed to be an encore junior season; he’s watching game film to continuously improve his technique.
“Not being able to play the last few months with the team has really been hard for me personally,” Trumble said. “I was looking forward to playing with the team, trying to win a state championship all year since we came up short last year. I’ve been practicing on my own time as much as I can even though I can’t play games on my own. I’ve been hitting off the tee and looking at old videos trying to see what I can change to improve and working out so I come back stronger than before.”
Still unknown when they can come back, McCann said that while the summer season has been canceled, plans are in the works for the Connie Mack league to return in the fall. With no exact schedule, time will tell whether the COVID-19 pandemic will suspend those plans as well.
Contact Robert Vendettoli at BCRsports@gmail.com.