Local high school coaches keeping athletes prepared for future

High school baseball and softball fields are vacant, like the one at San Joaquin Memorial.

It's unknown if our local teams will get the chance to finish what they started, but coaches are still making sure their players are prepared no matter what happens.

"Teams were in a rhythm at this point in the year," says San Joaquin Memorial baseball coach JD Salles. "You're nine games in starting to get on a roll, and it's all just taken away."

The Panthers were 8-1 and ranked as one of the top 20 teams in the country before their season got suspended.

"We have eight seniors," Salles said. "They've played for me for four years. Everybody's in the same boat. I'm not the only coach in the nation who's going through this."

Former bulldog and Clovis East's softball head coach Sarah Santana says she told her girls to cherish each game even before the coronavirus pandemic.

"My biggest message to them when we were playing was to leave it out on the field because you never know when it's going to be your last game," Santana said.

Both coaches have been in contact with their teams to make sure their players are staying in shape even with the shelter in place order.

"They're doing the work out on their own, recording it in a time-lapse so we can get the whole clip in it," Santana said. "They're sending the clip in the group message so that their teammates are watching them work out. They're motivating other people."

Coach Santana shared her best-case scenario for the remainder of the season.

"I would like to see us at least get conference games in, maybe still doing a conference championship, not a valley championship," Santana said. "At least our seniors still have a senior night."

With recruiting put on all, Coach Salles says he'll have to take things into his own hands to help out his seniors.

"I'm going to work for them and make phone calls," Salles said. "Right now, it's a tough spot because colleges aren't doing anything, junior colleges aren't doing anything. It's like something we've never seen, so we just have to hope for the best and trust that it will all work out, really."

For more news coverage on the coronavirus and COVID-19 go to ABC30.com/coronavirus
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