Tennis

A tennis ball rests on the Centerville tennis courts.

With so much uncertainty still in the air in the sports world due to the ongoing pandemic of the coronavirus, a couple of local coaches have started a petition to consider alternate options instead of canceling spring and summer sports.

Many spring sports were getting ready for their first practices before Governor Kim Reynolds recommended that schools should close for four weeks in response to the community spread of COVID-19.

Schools, as well as high school sports, followed those recommendations and have been put on hold for four weeks.

As of right now, nobody knows how the spring sports season will be affected. The IAHSAA and the IGHSAU have not announced how the schedule will be affected if and when spring sports come back this year.

In response to that, Centerville boys track head coach Darrin Carson and Centerville boys tennis head coach Tyler Baze each started petitions hoping the high school associations find alternate options to have a season rather than just cancel it altogether.

“I understand the reason for concern, however, I urge you to consider alternate options instead of canceling spring and summer sports,” Baze said in his petition. “Senior athletes do not get a redshirt year and seniors deserve the chance to go out one more time and try to claim what they have worked four years for.”

Baze and Carson believe that coaches and athletes can do their part by taking precautionary steps and keeping proper hygiene. They also believe it will be easier for spring sports because tennis, track, golf and soccer feature little contact between athletes.

The Centerville boys track team placed first at their home relays, second at the conference meet and would qualify for the Drake Relays and state meet. They could’ve potentially had all of their state qualifiers back for this year.

The Centerville boys tennis team has built a foundation in the last couple of years with the same group of players. That group now consists of three seniors and three juniors that finished last year 4-2 down the stretch with three of those wins coming by one match. Baze was looking for that group to take the next step this year.

“I have watched a group of athletes play at the varsity level from an early age and take their lumps,” Baze said. “They have worked hard the last three to four years to improve and are ready to showcase their improvement this year. I know it is a cautious time we are living in now but let the athletes/coaches lead the way in keeping everyone safe. If that means very little crowds, we are okay with it but please consider these senior athletes before making any permanent decisions.”

As of Tuesday night, Carson and Baze’s petition had almost 3,000 signatures.

“We are willing to do whatever it takes to save the season,” Baze said. “I know I for one do not want to be the one to tell our athletes that their season or career is over without getting the chance to go out on their own. When making a decision, please if nothing else think of our seniors.”

For now, everyone will just have to play the waiting game. The associations will readdress the spring season in the coming weeks while baseball and softball’s first practices are still set for May 4 and May 11, respectively, for the time being.

Colin Peters can be reached at cpeters@dailyiowegian.com or by calling the newsroom at 641-856-6336. Follow him on Twitter @ColinPetersDI.

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