This Spring Has Been Especially Cruel to Princeville Baseball Program

Local Sports

PRINCEVILLE, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — The closest thing to coaching baseball in Chris Delbridge’s life right now is an impromptu clinic he put on in his yard.

It was for his two sons and a neighborhood friend.

“I was going to coach both my boys’ teams this summer. That’s on hold right now, Delbridge said. “They are excited. They want to get after it so there’s definitely a loss for them too.”

Delbridge is the head baseball coach at Princeville. He season was put on in mid-March when the COVID-19 outbreak first hit Illinois.

That news came just days after the March 3 death of 22-year-old Mitch Janssen, a former star player at Princeville and Bradley University who was killed when the small plane he was piloting crashed near Lincoln.

“Within the span of a week and a half, we lost Mitch and lost our season, Delbridge said. “We had all these plans to honor Mitch, had patches sewn on all our jerseys so we could give him the proper honor and respect he deserves for being one of our great players here. That will have to be put off until next year.”

He’s hoping he’ll get a chance to coach his seniors at some point this year. The Illinois High School Association will allow teams to play some summer games if the government and health officials deem it’s safe to so.

Then he’ll turn his attention to his boys’ baseball schedule. And Delbridge is really hoping he’ll get a chance to coach his 10 and 11-year-old boys.

“The things you take for granted on a day-to-day basis. You don’t realize they can be take away from you,” Delbridge said. “I think there’s definitely going to be a lot more appreciation for the things we take for granted.”

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