COVID's impact on Baldwin sports is top story of 2020

Baldwin basketball and volleyball also have huge years

Varsity girls basketball returned to Baldwin. (Star file photo)

Varsity girls basketball returned to Baldwin. (Star file photo)

BALDWIN – It was obviously a year not to forget, but for unfortunate reasons, as the Top 5 sports stories in 2020 for Lake County are revealed.

1-COVID’S IMPACT ON SPORTS

It all started in March and continued in April when it was announced there would be no spring sports because of COVID 19. Schools were closed and there wasn’t much choice for the MHSAA.

Baldwin softball, baseball and track teams were ready to go but practices couldn’t get off the ground.

Summer sports activity mainly didn’t exist because of the shutdown. Things started opening up. But there were restrictions. Volleyball athletes had to practice outdoors for two weeks before they could come into the gyms. But players had to wear masks. Golf courses opened late in the spring, but they did open. The Baldwin bowling center was closed, then open, then closed and reopened again.

Winter sports for Baldwin has been delayed with basketball and bowling coaches hoping to open their seasons in January.

2-BALDWIN BOYS BASKETBALL

The Panthers were able to get their season in prior to the March shutdown. It was a fun season for the Panthers who had a three-win record in 2018-19. For the 2019-20 season, under new coach JJ Eads, Baldwin was 16-6.

Key players included freshman Carmelo Lindsey who averaged 16 points, 7 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 3.5 steals per game. He had a triple double at Mesick. He scored 27 points against Crossroads in the districts.

Junior Lavonte Palmer was second in scoring and steals and led the team in assists. He had a few games with more than 20 points.

3-BALDWIN VOLLEYBALL

The Panther volleyball team had one of its best seasons in years under coach Duane Roberts. His team improved from seventh to second place in the West Michigan D League, The league record was 7-2.

Among the standouts was senior Monique Rowland who served 94 percent, and had 4.8 kills, 3.6 assists, 14.1 digs and 2.0 blocks per game.

Senior Kendra Washington had a serve percentage of 89.8 percent, and 1.5 kills, 1.2 assists and 3.3 digs per game

4—VARSITY GIRL BASKETBALL RETURNS

Coach Nikki Bergman opened varsity girls basketball practices for the first such Baldwin team in three seasons. There was no high school team for 2018-19 and only JV for 2019-20. The return of varsity ball will have to wait until the state OKs the return of winter sports.

5—FOOTBALL’S SHORTENED SEASON

Football was given the go-ahead in August, for a week, then it was decided to switch it to the spring. But then the MHSAA decided to have a six-game regular season starting in mid-September.

Baldwin was only able to have enough players eligible for three games and was 0-3. Carmelo Lindsey, Ian Lemieux, Dylan Hibma and Leonard McNeilly earned all-conference honors.