Dealing with no baseball

Allen Community College baseball is dealing with the loss of its 2020 season due to the rapid spread of COVID-19.

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Sports

March 19, 2020 - 9:36 AM

ACC’s Jakota Sainsbury delivers from the mound in a game earlier this season. Photo by Erick Mitchell / Iola Register

COVID-19 cut Allen Community College baseball’s season short, but the Red Devils are not mulling over the lost season. Head coach Clint Stoy knows the NJCAA’s call to cancel the remainder of the season was the only route to go. 

“There’s a lot of people that get paid a lot more money than I do, and I trust those people making those decisions,” Stoy said. “I’m a baseball coach and a teacher, so if somebody wants advice on that I’ll give it to them. But I’m not going to question somebody else’s decision when it deals with your players’ and families’ safety.”

The thought of the season being canceled never popped in Stoy’s mind until the NCAA canceled the remainder of its spring sports season, including the College World Series. When the season was called, the Red Devils finished with an 8-9 record. 

“As far as I’m concerned, it is more about the players,” Stoy said. “I get to do this every year, where they only get four years and two years here. I feel bad for some of those sophomores not getting to say goodbye to their teammates and ACC, the place they have been the last two years.”

One of those players is redshirt freshman Jakota Sainsbury. An Arkansas native, Sainsbury attended Henderson State last year to play football, but quickly realized he made the wrong choice out of high school. 

Granted an opportunity to play baseball at ACC, Sainsbury was itching to start the conference season, but those hopes were cut short due to COVID-19. 

Left to right, ACC head coach Clint Stoy and Jakota Sainsbury.Photo by Erick Mitchell / Iola Register

“It is devastating,” Sainsbury said. “Together as a team we worked all fall to get where we are today. I feel like we didn’t start off on a hot foot, but we were getting there. As a team we have each other’s back, and it is just devastating. We have all been talking about how we wish we could finish the season.”

As soon as the NJCAA decided to cancel the season, Stoy told his players to return home immediately, and it is a good thing the ACC skipper did. 

Sophomore shortstop Jonah Weisner flew home to Canada on Tuesday. At his stop in Seattle en route to Canada, Weisner told Stoy he saw individual dressed hazmats roaming around the airport. When he arrived in Canada, Weisner was told to self-quarantine for 14 days because he was arriving from the United States. 

ALTHOUGH all the games were not played, both Stoy and Sainsbury highlight none of the 2019-20 cycle went down the drain. 

“Its a little frustrating, but I wouldn’t say that it went to waste,” Sainsbrry said. This is something we have been working our whole life for, and we are playing college baseball for a reason. Whatever the future may hold for anybody, you still took that time in the fall to work. You can take that work from the fall and put in the future.”

When the Red Devils return in the fall, the roster will be large and full of competition for spots on the field. Currently, ACC has 35 players on its roster, and with the NCJAA starting this season will not take a year of eligibility, many Red Devils could return in the fall. 

“If a guy has his associates degree, and we can find him a place to play, then I want those guys to leave because they are delaying the inevitable,” Stoy said. “But I have had guys in the past that do want to come back for a third year, and take part time classes in the fall, and full time classes in the spring because they like it here.”

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