The North Bend Eagle


Socially distant softball practice
Coach Roy Wright addresses his softball team after the first practice of the summer on June 8. He said keeping the required distance takes some getting used to for what is normally a team-bonding moment.

Finally, summer sports off and running

by Nathan Arneal
Published 6/10/20

Nothing about 2020 has been normal. But athletes who have already seen one season of sports canceled finally get a chance to get back out there, even if it’s still anything but normal.
Nebraska’s Directed Health Measure for June allowed baseball, softball and weight training to begin, with limitations.

Spaced athletesNBC athletes have designated, socially distanced spots where they wait to have their temperature checked before entering the weight room to lift. Lifting groups are limited to eight at a time so no equipment is shared.

The American Legion baseball program canceled its district and state tournaments nationwide but is allowing local teams to schedule some games if they wish, starting June 18.

The North Bend-Morse Bluff team started practice as soon as they could, last Monday, June 1.
Trevor Nelson, still young enough to play Legion ball after his freshman year of college, knows there’s work to be done.

“Yesterday, I threw up because I was so out of shape,” he said after the second day of practice last Tuesday. “We’ll get there.”

He’s just glad he gets a chance to finish his Legion career. There was a point where he was pretty sure the 2020 season wasn’t going to happen.

“Obviously, nobody wants to play their last season and not know it was their last season,” Nelson said. “I didn’t want it to end without it being on my terms.”

Blacksox coach Chaz Stephenson has been scrambling to put together a schedule, aiming for about eight to 12 games. He said he’s going to treat the abbreviated season like spring training, focusing on fundamentals.

“We’ll kind of use this as a springboard into next season,” Stephenson said. “That’s is all you can do.”
All local softball and baseball teams that don’t fall under the Legion umbrella are run by the North Bend Optimists, who elected to cancel all seasons this summer.

Even with no games this summer, coach Roy Wright is still going to put his NBC softball team through the paces. They began practice Monday morning. He hopes to be able to take his team to a team camp in July, if conditions allow, while he prepares his squad for the school season in August.


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