07-02-2020 Tri-City Area Sports

LAST MHSAA SPORTING EVENT… before the COVID-19 pandemic stopped all events. Local athletes pictured from the 2020 Wrestling State Finals on March 7 are (from the left): 112 lbs. Trever Pelton from Watervliet on the shoulders of 189 lb. Don Smith also of Watervliet. To the right in the photo are: In back, 145 lb. Ian Ishmael and 285 lb. Cole Alsup and in front of Ian is 112 lb. Caleb Ishmael, all three of Coloma. (Contributed photo)

Coloma Press Box By Dave Vollrath

Coloma School administrators expect students in classrooms this fall

The first requirement that would be expected to take place, in order for our high school athletes to get back to competition this fall, would obviously be that the students would need to be back in the classrooms.

On Wednesday, June 24, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that the teachers and the students are expected to be meeting face to face, and in person, but of course there will most likely be some strict guidelines which would need to be followed to keep with the state’s continued efforts to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus. More of what these requirements will be is supposed to be announced by the first of July. Some of these will certainly mean continued mask wearing, temperature checks, and increased sanitation for students and all staff.

Some of the talk you hear around town, and on social media sites, is about concerned parents who are unsure if they want to send their kids back to the schools until the virus is more under control. Of course no one knows at this time how that concern would affect an athlete who wants to compete, but chooses to continue with the virtual learning classes they may be able to take from home. These are some of the many issues which will certainly arise as we continue on this uncharted journey in trying to balance the safety and welfare of all in our population, and giving our students and athletes the opportunities to continue with their educational and physical needs.

Most all of the fall sports athletes for the Comets are now back and working with their coaches. Since the all clear was given a couple of weeks ago that they could have drills and conditioning outside only as long as social distancing, absolutely no contact, and what has become the normal COVID-19 precautionary practices are being strictly followed. All of the comments heard or read from coaches and players have all been positive and everyone is just happy to be back to some kind of normalcy, and being back with their teammates in any way they’re allowed.

The Comet cross-country team coached by Courtney Churchill had their first night together this week, and there were plenty of smiles to go around even if it was a sweltering night for their first gathering. A side note about Coach Churchill. She has kept her sanity through this health crisis by getting in her own miles running every day. She reported recently that she had been out for a daily run for 100 days in a row. Not only a grueling accomplishment for her as a runner and coach, but should absolutely give her team some incentive and a little mental boost when they are out on those long and sometimes lonely runs. Congratulations Coach, very impressive, especially when you’re pushing that little one in a cart with you.

National sports scene becoming clearer

Now that the United States knows that there will be major league baseball this summer, the NBA also announced their plans to continue their 2019-2020 season, and play it out until a champion is crowned. Both baseball and basketball will begin playing before the end of July, albeit without any fans in the stands.

The Detroit Tigers will be continuing their spring training-like workouts at Comerica Park in Detroit, with the Tigers also utilizing their triple-A team facilities nearby in Toledo for part of their 60-man squad they’re allowed to activate according to the newly altered rules. They will be back practicing early in July, with the newly agreed to 60-game regular season scheduled to begin on July 23. There’s one certainty for the Tigers, my Tigers, and that is they cannot lose 100 games this year!

The Chicago Cubs will similarly begin this summer practice in Wrigley Field. There is also added excitement in South Bend, where the Cubs minor league facility will host about a dozen of the Cubs for the summer training, and a place where players can continue to work out who don’t make the opening day roster.

The Chicago White Sox, of course another team with many fans in Southwestern Michigan, will also begin their summer workouts on July 1, in their Southside Chicago home, now named Guaranteed Rate Field.