It was not an ideal day for baseball.
The skies were a gloomy gray — befitting the moment, really — and a damp, cool breeze blew through the air.
But for Scottsboro and North Jackson, it was a perfect day for baseball. Sadly for those players and coaches, it was the last day for a while, and being realistic, possibly the last of the season.
With the COVID-19 (coronavirus) related school closures coming into effect the following day, Monday was the last day for high school sports team to play. High school sports are on hold until at least April 6, and the AHSAA has put together a Spring Sports Contingency Committee in hopes that play will resume at some point.
We are in unknown territory, and taking these precautions are is smart. It’s the right thing to do. Hopefully we can look back in a few months a contemplate if we overreacted. What we can’t do is look back in a few months and regret that we underreacted.
On Monday, Scottsboro was scheduled to visit Fort Payne for a baseball game that afternoon, but Fort Payne City Schools closed at the end of Monday, canceling the game.
Desperate for a game and an opportunity to honor its seniors with a “Senior Night” ceremony, Scottsboro called its archrival.
Scottsboro and North Jackson don’t always get along sports wise, but this was bigger than a rivalry. This was a chance for both programs to play one final time before what they hope is only a break in their season. One final time for a feeling of normalcy during an uncertain time.
Scottsboro won the game 5-0. But simply getting to play a game was a victory for both teams.
A “Senior Night” in mid-March wasn’t what Dalton Wood and his fellow Scottsboro seniors expected this season. But they were grateful for it, nonetheless.
“It’s obviously different than what we expected, but I’m just thankful we got a ‘Senior Night’ because a lot of people didn’t,” Wood said. “We’re thankful North Jackson came down to play us. They were great sports. Very thankful we got to have this.”
Now the teams — especially their seniors — sit and wait, trying to stay positive and hopeful that Monday wasn’t their last time on the field in 2020.
“It won’t really sink in for probably another week. Right now, it’s weird,” said North Jackson coach Cole Porter. “Baseball is not supposed to be possibly over. Just a weird feeling. Only way I can explain it. I just pray they figure out something over the next few weeks and these guys can get back at it.”