Citrus Valley baseball in full swing

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Photo courtesy Yary Photography: Front row- Zach Marquez, Matt Mecate, Ivan Rodriguez, Luis Garcia, David Perez, and Devin Martinez. Second row- Jacob Rivera, Coach Adam Roque, Coach Jeff Pavese, Coach Jon Austin, Coach Bill Rainbolt, and Josh Torres. Third row- Daniel Vasquez, Cy Robertson, Jacob Jacome, Jared Snyder, and Riley Hunsaker. Fourth row- Marc DiCarlo Jr., Blake Griffin, Jacob Horner, and Luke White.
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By Eric Sandoval

Covid-19 has taken a full calendar year away from the Citrus Valley baseball team. The time off has been an eye-opener for many coaches and athletes, they had to wait a year until they could play again. When speaking with Head Varsity Baseball Coach Jon Austin you can feel the excitement he has to be back on the field.

The Citrus Valley baseball team had been inactive for exactly one year from March 2020 to March 2021, there were concerns about having a season this year. Not even Coach Austin knew if there would be a season.

“There were rumors around the internet in February that a season could take place but we didn’t know for sure; in March we found out there would be a season and we only had a couple of weeks to prepare for our first game,” explained Coach Austin. “It was just a relief, with distance learning you feel there is no way we’re gonna play, especially with the winter sports not being able to play. Once spring came along our district stated that we are playing, this came as a relief to me and my players.”

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With baseball being gone for an entire year due to the pandemic many of these players got a break, one that during normal circumstances wouldn’t happen. It can be looked at as both a positive and negative, these players have time to breathe but run the risk of getting rusty and out of shape.

“They got a chance to reflect on what they needed to work on. For most of them, it was to start using weights to get stronger. Therefore, they learned to be self-motivated,” said Coach Austin.

The school board allowed sports to be played as long as teams were following Covid-19 protocols. These protocols have forced teams to adjust in order to play baseball.

“It’s been different from the past because before we didn’t have to wear masks and take the players’ temperature before they entered the field or worry about someone getting sick and getting the whole team sick,” explained Coach Austin.

Baseball is a game of adjustments and Citrus Valley has adjusted well, they currently boast a 16-6 record which is good enough for second place in their league.

Coach Austin was excited that he and his team could take to the field this year and wanted to thank those that helped get this season going.

“I’m very thankful for the school board, players, coaches, and parents who have helped get this season underway,” expressed Coach Austin.

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