PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — For many coaches, this is the first spring of their lives where they have not been involved in coaching or playing sports. That’s been a tough pill to swallow.
“I’ve been playing softball since I was five years old, so this would be 35, 36 years with softball in my life,” Normal West softball coach April Schermann said. “This was my 17th year as head coach, and to not have a spring season is very, very weird.”
“It hasn’t been fun, like I said, you really miss it and you don’t take it for granted anymore,” Brimfield-Elmwood softball coach Kurt Juerjens said. “The days that are really nice are the days that really get you, because you go ‘We should be playing ball.'”
Most teams prepare all 12 months of the year for their sport. That’s why area coaches say its so difficult for their spring sports athletes, knowing that they won’t get a chance to show off all of their hard work.
“It’s taxing on us too, just from a coaching perspective and not being able to have that competitive spirit,” Dunlap girls track and field coach Amanda Young said. “But also to just see all the hard work of our athletes pay off.”
The reasonating message around the coaching world is that the spring sports shutdown is a great lesson in adversity. But coaches are holding on to a glimmer of hope that their athletes may get a chance to play before the summer is over.
“The IHSA is working behind the scenes to stay flexible, we really appreciate Mr. Anderson and Mr. Knox of the IHSA keeping an open mind and putting kids first,” Normal Community coach Ryan Short said. “First their safety and then just the chance that they could play baseball.”