Coach, players are ready for baseball season

Seniors note the effect of not playing last year due to Covid


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Senior Cam Jordan and his parents attend the winter signing ceremony in the Welch Activity Center. Next year, Jordan will play baseball for the University of Louisville. This year, he and his teammates can’t wait to take the field at Brunette Park.

Nicholas Rodecap, Reporter

As spring draws ever closer by the day, so, too, does the 2021 high school baseball season. For high school baseball players all over Indiana, this will be their first season since 2019 in light of the Covid-19 outbreak that caused the previous season to end before it even began.

Baseball Head Coach Mr. Ed Freije ‘99 and the rest of the baseball program felt the brunt of the Covid-19 outbreak last March when it prompted the cancellation of the season. 

“It was incredibly difficult,” Freije said. “(I) felt horrible for our seniors. Players spend so much time invested and committed to a program and they really look forward to competing and leading their senior year. As adults, we try to emphasize the ability to control what we can control and this was a great example of that. Unfortunately there was not much we could control.”

Cam Jordan and Chris Gallagher, two senior baseball standouts, both felt the impact of Covid-19 in different ways. “It was a hard pill to swallow,” Gallagher said. “The team and I put in a lot of work (leading up to the season) and to have it called off was upsetting. High school baseball is something that I am very excited to be a part of.”

Gallagher, a Wright State University commit, said Covid-19 will present an additional set of challenges to him and players like him. “(Wright State) is giving all of the current players another year of eligibility, which leads to more players on the roster. Going into my freshman year, I will have to work harder to stand out and show the coaches what I can do.”

I will have to work harder to stand out and show the coaches what I can do.”

— Senior Chris Gallagher

Like Gallagher, Jordan also made a college commitment prior to his senior season. Jordan, a standout in both football and baseball, committed to the University of Louisville just a couple of weeks after Covid-19 prompted the cancellation of his junior season on the diamond. “I was planning on committing to a school after (my junior year) but since there was no season I had to hurry my decision,” Jordan said.

During the spring when games were supposed to be played, Freije said there was not much players and coaches could do to get together. “We had a few Zoom check ins. We had a parent deliver varsity baseball signage to the yards of your senior players. We were able to give tributes to our seniors on Twitter. We were able to distribute our traditional senior buckets and gifts. 

“I was able to go see some of the seniors when they went to have their pictures taken on campus. The spring was really a challenging time because restrictions and guidelines were very strict. It was very nice to be able to celebrate with our baseball seniors and all of the Senior Class with graduation at Brunette Park.”

Anticipating the 2021 season, Freije said he looks forward to having a large group of seniors. “It is a class that will contribute at a high level. They’ve been a group that we have really enjoyed having over the last four years and having them grow together. With that, many of them lost out on an opportunity to grow and develop at the varsity level as juniors.

“Of the large Senior Class, three started for us as sophomores two years ago. Jordan (center fielder), Gallagher (shortstop and right handed pitcher), and Cade Conlon (catcher).” 

Freije said he expects Covid-19 to have an effect on this season the way it has impacted the seasons of other sports. “Whether that’s how we have to practice, how we have to travel, how we gather, masks, social distancing, who is allowed to attend games, (and) postponements (and) cancellations,” he said, listing all the possible impacts of the continuing pandemic. 

Gallagher said that this spring, the baseball team will accomplish what the Irish couldn’t last year. He said, “I believe that there will be a 2021 season. The IHSAA will find a way to get the season in, especially if (fall and winter sports) are happening. The baseball team will be motivated to prove that we are one of the best teams in the state just like every other year, with the goal of winning a State championship. We will have an experienced group of guys, and (we) want to finish our high school careers with a ring more than anything.”

The season is scheduled to begin on March 29.