WATKINSVILLE — High school sports are in uncharted territory now. Due to fears over the spread of COVID-19, spring sports have been suspended at least two weeks, possibly longer. Many leagues, especially in the college ranks, have already canceled the rest of the spring sports season.
However, Loganville’s baseball team got one final game in before the two-week suspension started. If it is indeed the final prep sporting event of 2020, the Red Devils finished on a high note by defeating Oconee County 6-3 Saturday at Arrowhead Park in Watkinsville.
“It’s been a crazy year,” Loganville head coach Jeff Segars said. “It’s just been a struggle from day one with all the rain and now all this virus stuff. I just hope we get to keep playing ball.”
Loganville scored six runs off five hits in the contest, putting up a run in the third, two runs in the fourth, another in the fifth and two more in the sixth. Oconee County made a late push, scoring three runs in the sixth, but it wasn’t enough for the Warriors.
Maven Farmer, Brocker Way, Will Cawthon and Chan Haulk each registered a hit in the contest, with Haulk going 2-for-2 at the dish. Ian King, Dylan Strickland and Cawthon batted in one run each while Farmer logged two RBIs.
Riley Cruce picked up the win on the mound for Loganville. He pitched five innings on 59 pitches with four strikeouts and one hit allowed. Trenton Burnett picked up the save.
Saturday’s contest was the last prep sporting event involving a Walton County team to take place prior to a minimum two-week suspension of play due to the spread of COVID-19. Coaches and players are unsure when and even if they will return to play this season.
“Hopefully we’ll get back at it,” Segars said. “I hope these guys have learned what to do on their own through the practicing and teaching that we’ve provided. Hopefully they will be focused enough to do it on their own, because we can use our facilities and they’re really on their own at this point.”
The Georgia High School Association cannot make the call to cancel the season; it only has the power to control state meets like the state literary meet that it recently postponed of the recently completed state basketball championships. Executive Director Dr. Robin Hines has said that the decision to cancel rests with the local school systems. However, with school being canceled, athletics are not allowed to take place.
The next state tournaments for prep sports begin April 21 in soccer and tennis. Those in gymnastics, baseball, golf, lacrosse and track and field follow later that week.
Seniors would likely be the ones to suffer the most should the season get canceled. While the NCAA has granted an extra year of eligibility to its senior student-athletes affected by season cancelations, high school seniors likely won’t be granted the same provision.
“It would be really disappointing for those seniors if this is it,” Segars said. “These guys put so much effort in to preparing for the season. They only get four years and if one gets cut short it’s devastating.”