Baldwin coaches reflect on no spring season
BALDWIN -- Baldwin coaches and athletes got the news, as did the rest of the state on Friday, from the MHSAA announcing spring sports would not be played this year because of the coronavirus episode.
This announcement followed a suspension of three weeks for spring sports, starting on Aug. 13. until a final decision could be made.
Baldwin track coach Bob Watkins wasn't entirely surprised by the final decision.
"I'm disappointed because I thought I had something special for this year. "It's Jenna (Johnson's) senior year and some of the guys coming up. I truly understand why and would rather be cautious on the safe side rather than have something happen."
Some athletic officials fear having no spring sports in 2020 could hurt interest for 2021.
"From what I'm hearing and the chatter from kids, they are really disappointed not being in school and not having that chance to socialize," Watkins said. "Hopefully things will be cleared up, we'll have a decent summer and we can start preparing for football and roll back into basketball and have spring sports again."
Johnson had finished eighth in the state in the 100-meter dash in 2017 as a freshman and coaches liked her potential for state honors. Ditto for Darrion Hayter, who medaled in the regional shot put event. "He surprised himself, but he looked to be a lot stronger this year," Watkins said.
"It makes a difference for seniors. It seems like they're more mature. You could see the seniors have the desire in their eyes to go out with a bang."
Dexter Hossler is another key senior.
Watkins said Johnson has received a college offer for track.
"She's a good athlete and can be successful at anything she tries," Watkins said.
Because schools are still closed, it's not quite sure what football coaches like Watkins will be able to do for a summer program.
"That's going to be a big question mark," he said, noting there hasn't been a decline yet in number of coronavirus cases. "I do know Crossroads has dropped their (football) program for next year so I don't know what's going to happen. We're looking to have similar numbers we had last year. We hope to be a little more mature.
"We have not had the weightroom open and now you're letting kids on their own. They will show up for the season and you don't know what you're going to have."