Madison Kennedy Little League Back on the Diamond
With the pop of the bat accompanied by the smell of fresh cut grass, baseball has returned in Wisconsin for the Madison Kennedy Little League.
"Getting up for the first practice felt like Christmas." said 14U head coach, and Kennedy Little League president, Chris Gingher.
"It feels good to get that first one done and know we can do this safely."
Gingher added that the first practice back felt like the best day since the COVID-19 pandemic changed everyone's everyday life.
"I realized that just being back with my friends means so much to me." Kennedy second baseman, Reece Chynoweth said. "I just so fun to be back."
"Being able to play a sport I love and hanging out with my best friends is always a good thing to do." added his teammate and fellow infielder, Gavin Hablewitz.
Under Dane County's "Forward Dane" phase one of reopening, Little League baseball falls under childcare guidelines which allows groups of 15 to gather. The perfect cap to allow a baseball roster to practice.
Even though they're practicing like old times, players are still socially distancing, and only using their own equipment at practice. Gingher was not just pleased with how his team followed those rules, but encouraged that it also didn't take away from the production at practice.
"I talked to the kids about just spreading out and no high fiving. Normally kids would have sunflower seeds and none of that. They all followed it great like I didn't have to remind them really at all the entire practice."
As games are two phases away from taking place in Dane County, practice is the new past time these kids cherish.
"I just have to not take stuff for granted." Center fielder Owen Gingher said, "If I do stuff I might not be able to do it again. I just gotta not take it for granted and enjoy it while I'm in the moment doing it."
Owen's father, Chris shared that same appreciation for practice. "You know if it ends up that it's just practicing all summer, we'll take what we can get."