Munford High School baseball coach Scotty Yount has been walking around his house like a zombie.

When his phone rang Tuesday morning and he told his wife it was a newspaper reporter calling, his wife said, “Tell them you’re in a state of depression.”

Covington softball coach Justus Cousar had to tell his team that next week’s trip to Gulf Shores, Ala. for a tournament has been cancelled. A beach house had already been rented and the trip had been in the works for two years.

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“All the kids on our team have been looking forward to this for a long time,” Cousar said. “I’m just not happy with the whole situation.”

Glenn Goulder has been Munford’s head softball coach for 34 years.

“Unprecedented,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

“We’re in uncharted waters right now,” said Tipton-Rosemark softball coach Johnie Sanfratello . “Nobody knows what’s going on.”

This is all, of course, in reaction to the suspension of spring sports in Tipton County and most of the surrounding school districts in an effort to mitigate spreading of coronavirus. Tipton County Schools, and all school-related activities, are shut down until the end of the month. The same goes for TRA.

The Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association met Tuesday and determined it is up to each school district whether or not to play, but most districts and private schools have halted play.

That means no coach-supervised practice either. If and when play resumes, it will be challenging for players to immediately be in playing shape. Coaches are encouraging players to work out on their own.

“From a safety standpoint, pitchers can’t not throw for two weeks and start pitching again,” Yount said. “If we do start up again I want them to be at their best. The only way they’re going to do that is if they keep working on their own.”
Yount said some players have batting cages at their homes, but he’s making sure to tell them to take batting practice in groups of 10 or less.

Cousar’s two daughters are on the Covington softball team, but he can’t use the school facility, so he has to find somewhere else to work out with them.

A handful of games were held before play was suspended.

The TRA softball team traveled to Gulf Shores, Ala. for a tournament last weekend and the Lady Rebels went 3-2. Sanfratello found out Friday things were shutting down.

“I kind of used it as motivation,” he said. “You don’t know if you’re going to get to come back and play more.”

Munford head coach Scotty Yount talks to his team before a preseason game earlier this month against Tipton-Rosemark. Photo by David Perry

The Munford baseball team went 3-2 last week. They played at Christian Brothers last Sunday afternoon, one of very few games played anywhere that day. He told his players it was going to be the last game they were going to play for a while.

“I’ve really been hoping this is a bad dream and I’m going to wake up,” Yount said. “I just really feel bad for our seniors. The college season is shut down, but those guys get those years back. Our guys don’t get theirs back. I hope, if we get back into school, the TSSAA takes that into consideration and lets these seniors, in every sport, have as much season as they can have.”

Will there be any more games played this spring? Yount took a deep breath before answering that one.

“I choose to lean on the side of faith and right now I’m going to think that we’re going to get back out there,” he said.

Said Cousar: “I have no idea. I’m hopeful, of course, but I just don’t know. It seems like things change every day. Nothing is certain.”

“I am so hesitant to even guess,” Sanfratello said. “You watch the news and you don’t know what to believe and what not to believe. It’s awful right now. It’s hard to understand. I get the precautions and keeping groups away, but it’s tough when you have seniors who might have played their last game. You don’t want that to be true, but there are obviously way more important things than softball right now.”

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