SPRINGVILLE - For a while, Springville baseball coach Tony Dlouhy wasn’t sure there was actually going to be a season for his team to play even after it was announced all Iowa high schools would have their summer sports in 2020.

      “That was a scary thought, but one that could have been a reality,” he said. “We just weren’t sure what decision our administration was going to make in regards to baseball and summer sports in general here at Springville, but we got the word that we’re good to go and that we’ll have a season.”

      That season however, won’t be what Dlouhy and the Orioles have been used to in the past.

      “The good news was that we get to have a varsity baseball season,” Dlouhy said. “The bad news is we’re not going to be able to have a JV baseball season. It was a decision that had to be made with our low numbers this summer.”

      With a mere 13 players out for baseball this season, the decision was made to play a varsity-only schedule in 2020 and hopefully, with an influx of numbers next summer, the program could return to a normal varsity/JV schedule in 2021.

      “We have two seniors, six juniors, two sophomores and three eighth graders out for baseball this year,” Dlouhy said. “With numbers like those it makes it just about impossible to have two teams and play a JV as well as a varsity schedule. We’re going to do our best to make sure the three eighth graders that we have out will get the best experience possible under the circumstances. We’ll make sure they get a varsity letter this summer.”

      For Dlouhy and the Orioles, the return to practice Monday, June 1, was the first step in a get back to normal process for everyone.

      “It felt so good just getting out on that field and finally feeling a sense of normalcy,” Dlouhy said. “I think all the kids felt that way. We’ve all been cooped up for so long, they just wanted to get out and have some fun with their friends.”

      Dlouhy also wants to make sure his team knows exactly what the primary goal for this renewed 2020 campaign is.

      “We’re getting a new lease on life just being able to have this season, I just want the boys to just go out and have as much fun with it as they possibly can with it,” he said. “I want everyone to stay loose and just enjoy the game, enjoy being outside playing and just enjoy being around their friends every day. In the end that’s what it’s all about.

      “Do we want to win? Of course we do, we have a lot of competitive kids on this team, but if we can keep our spirits up and take the pressure off, I think we have the chance to do some things this summer. I’m looking forward to it no matter what plays out.”

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