WAYNE – Even before the high school spring sports season was called off, student-athletes were preparing for any possible season until the news of cancellation came out in early April.
Coaching staff and team members for the 2020 Wayne High baseball season had high hopes and were excited to start the year but, like many sports across the nation, were halted.
Adam Hoffman was entering his ninth year as the head coach for Wayne High baseball. Coach Hoffman, who also assisted the boys basketball team, said decisions kept getting pushed back right after the boys state tournament.
“Things weren’t looking any better so obviously they kept pushing it back a little bit,” said Hoffman. “There was still a little bit of hope that maybe there was going to be a spring season that got pushed back into May and early June but obviously it didn’t work out that way.”
Right after the wrestling season concluded, assistant coaches Robbie Gamble, Jack Belt and Teagan Nissen were working with the team at the end of February. Those who were able to practice got at least two weeks in to prepare for the season.
Coach Hoffman added the kids were disappointed and he felt bad for the seniors not being able to finish their high school career and not getting in their last sport.
“As a school we were having a really successful sports year and it would have been nice to see what our spring seasons could have done,” Hoffman added. “I think we would have had some success there as well. Not only just sports, but man these kids missed out on a lot of things. Their last year with those seniors as far as your athletic banquet, your honors night, your prom and all that stuff.”
Wayne High was looking at low 20s for a roster with eight seniors.
“They were just a special group,” Hoffman mentioned. “They’re good kids who represented Wayne really well throughout their career. They’ve had a lot of success and there’s a reason they had a lot of success because of who they are, how they approached the game and how well they support each other.”
It was a tough ending to the 2019 season when the team suffered a 3-2 loss in the B-6 District Tournament to South Sioux City ending the year with a 9-7 record.
Not only did no one get to play on the diamond, updates at Hank Overin Field weren’t able to be shown off. Along with new lights, a new mound and the new infield were also installed.
“Place is looking pretty good,” said Hoffman. “It would have been nice to see how everything worked and hopefully we get to play some games on there this summer to see all those improvements. It’s just a great ball back and it’s just sad that you drive by and it’s pretty quiet around there now. This is the time where things should be happening.”
Moving into summer baseball, the Wayne Baseball Association planned on meeting Wednesday and there was a youth sports meeting scheduled for Thursday with City of Wayne staff discussing baseball and softball during the month of June. Governor Ricketts stated during a press conference that baseball and softball teams can begin practice on June 1 and games to begin as early as June 18.
Coach Hoffman, who was going to coaching the Post 43 Seniors, added that the summer sports are more-or-less a trial run for the fall sports.
“Because we all know the fall sports is probably going to look a lot difference as well as far as fan attendance and things like that,” Hoffman added. “I guess it’s a good time to start practicing for those because it’s going to be there.”
Coach Hoffman has been coaching legion ball for 15 years.
More information from both the Wayne Baseball and Softball Associations on what their plans are will be next week on waynedailynews.com.