POST FALLS, Idaho — At 8 p.m. on Sunday, North Idaho legion baseball teams received an email cancelling their seasons for the rest of the year due to coronavirus concerns.
As of right now, the Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene legion baseball programs have decided to play on, just as independents.
“The kids just want to play ball so we're going to play until they tell us we have to stop,” said Post Falls head coach Mick Zeller.
Thankfully his team’s schedule is only comprised of four more games against Moses Lake, who will travel to Post Falls.
Zeller first got wind this may be coming about a week ago via an email.
“I was fearing the worst. I thought we'd probably end up getting shut down,” said Zeller. “I think that email came out last Wednesday, and I thought we would be shut down prior to the weekend. Whoever made that decision felt it was okay to continue for at least a weekend so then I started feeling more positive.”
That didn’t last long, though.
The good news is that Zeller’s team hasn’t had any positive cases this season.
“I feel that we do this for the kids to begin with and the kids really want to play. Moses Lake has been here once before, and we didn't have issues, and they didn't have any issues on their team. I haven't heard from their coach saying they have had any issues yet. I feel fairly safe at this point,” said Zeller.
The decision to shut down legion play did affect his squad in one area though.
They were still planning on attending the state baseball tournament. The event is still on, but will only include southern Idaho teams.
“I was really hesitant on even going to state, but the kids all wanted to. I was polling the parents to see what their feelings and thoughts were. All of the parents who got back to me were okay with it, so we were going to go, until we got the news,” he said.
Getting the news though begs the question: If there was enough worry to cancel Northern Idaho teams' legion baseball seasons, why does Zeller and his team want to play a few more games?
“I don't want to say we're in a bubble, but we're in a pretty safe place I feel. Most of the positive cases that I'm aware of are coming from the Couer d’Alene area. I'm sure there's some in Post Falls. I obviously don’t know any names," he said.
"I think it's good for the kids to have a positive experience out of all of this. It keeps them out of trouble, practicing and playing every day, and keeps them healthy and not sitting around playing video games and watching TV and doing other things. If I felt there was a threat, I would definitely shut it down," he added.
Coeur d’Alene’s legion baseball program will have a Board of Directors meeting on Thursday to discuss their options, but on Monday said on their Facebook page they were planning to still play games this year. They are slated to play teams from the Spokane and Northwest Montana areas in Couer d’Alene in the coming weeks.