Pine River baseball season, like others, is on hold

LEROY -- Pine River's Shawn Ruppert got hit in three different directions on Friday after it was announced school and sports programs would be suspended until April 6 because of the coronavirus.

He's a teacher and also athletic director at Pine River, which was getting ready to host a title game on Friday.

He's also baseball coach but had to wait before having his full team available since several players were on the basketball squad, which had its district title canceled on Friday.

Ironically, Ruppert had a chance to get some of these players during a baseball practice on Friday after school since there was no hoops game that night. But this would also be the only baseball practice until at least April 6.

"I understand why they're doing it," Ruppert said. "There are more important things than sports."

Ruppert hasn't had all his baseball players yet because of the basketball season, but is looking at 13 or 14 players.

"They can do stuff on their own but coaches can't coaches can't have anything to do with them," Ruppert said.

Even though the suspension is until April 6, Ruppert noted there's no 100 percent certainty of resuming sports at that time.

It's frustrating also since Ruppert indicated he has some good players back from last year.

"I'm anxious to get on the field," he said.

The non-basketball players weren't able to do much baseball earlier in the week either since the gym was occupied with district tournament action.

Scheduled games at Grant on March 19 have been canceled. The first game scheduled now is on April 6 at Art Van Sports Complex in Rockford with Marion, which is also iffy since it's the earliest date any baseball activity could take place.

There's also games scheduled for April 10 at Fife Lake Forest Area and April 14 at Kingsley.