Students have lost many opportunities, events, experiences, and activities they love due to the now year-long pandemic. The pandemic started to take away from students’ lives during the spring of last year, including the cancellation of spring sports—including baseball and softball. The Kaiser baseball and softball teams’ seasons were stripped away from them last year, but this year is different. The teams have resumed practicing and are already having games and scrimmages while still following COVID-19 safety precautions.
The baseball team has played four games so far this season against Kailua, Castle, Campbell, and Farrington. They won all four games. They held their senior night game on Saturday, May 8th, against Farrington, with two more games to follow. The softball team has played five games so far this season, against Kailua, Moanalua, Kalani, Castle, and Kaimuki. They won against all teams except Castle, losing by one. The team has two more games to play of their 2021 season.
Both the baseball and softball teams care about COVID-19 safety. “At practice we are broken up into 4 groups with 8-10 people. We keep our masks on most of the time unless we are by ourselves with no one around. We stay out of the dugout as much as possible and spray down the equipment after every practice,” baseball player Ty Komoda said. While tiresome, the baseball team has maintained their COVID-19 safety precautions so their season can be fulfilled. The softball team uses slightly different procedures. “We wear a mask during practice, and are split into pods of ten so there is more space for everyone. Also, we use both dugouts so there is more space for social distancing,” softball player Kalie Otani said.
The baseball team is having a season this year with games, but unfortunately there will be no state tournament. The team still enjoys returning to play. “In the beginning it was hard to get back into it, but now it feels great to be playing again,” Komoda said. Just like baseball, there are softball games but unfortunately there are no state tournaments being held. With COVID-19 hitting, it is more difficult to maintain the same training techniques, but the hardship “has definitely helped me to get stronger and bigger for my junior season.” Otani said. “It also helped me with starting the college recruiting process before my season starts and allowing me to make scouting videos.”
Even though the baseball and softball season got cancelled last year, hope for this year led to success. The cougars came together with their teammates and hit it off to make up for lost time.