Truman baseball coach Corey Lathrom pulled into the high school’s parking lot, just west of the baseball field, and watched his players get out of their cars Monday morning.
It was 45 minutes before their first practice of the spring and most of his players were already there.
"You could tell, by the way they responded to each other, how special that moment was for them, and for me," Lathrom said. "I hadn’t seen my players in three months and it just felt right. It just felt so good."
Besides returning for summer conditioning sessions, not related to a specific sport, the baseball, girls soccer, golf, tennis and track and field teams from Truman, William Chrisman and Van Horn (which does not have tennis or golf teams) will meet on their respective playing fields, to both honor seniors and give the students one last opportunity to put on their respective gear after the entire spring sports season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It’s amazing, I can’t even tell you how special it is to wear my Truman baseball uniform one more time," Truman senior Bradley Menzies said. "We’re playing doubleheaders at each school, so that means six more games.
"It’s not an entire season, but it’s six games that we didn’t think we were going to get to play, so I am so excited. This might be the most excited I’ve been about playing baseball at Truman."
The Patriots anticipated a stellar 2020 season as the core of the team consisted of 13 seniors.
"We’ve had 11 of them at practice and you can see the excitement in their eyes, really, in the eyes of all our players," Lathrom said, referring to the seniors. "When we play here on June 29, we’re going to take a page from the William Chrisman playbook.
"Last year, they had the players’ dads come out and play catch with their sons, and we’re going to do that this year. My 9-year-old son Connor is going to play catch with me.
"My dad had neck surgery and he’s not up to playing catch right now. But Connor is really excited about coming out on the field with the guys and playing catch with his dad."