I hope that everyone is well and navigating the risk from COVID-19. I have fielded quite a few inquiries and it was suggested that I prepare a message updating what I can.
Everyone should be aware of the guidelines, Directives, Executive Orders and governmental “best practices” as issued by the Office of the Governor (State of Colorado); CHSAA; and the Jefferson County (Jeffco) School District. We are following these and will continue to follow them. Having said that, I have been in communication with other high school and college baseball coaches brain storming over options that might be available to us. One thing that we have agreed upon is to be prepared to play games as soon as we are given the “green light.” To that end, we have completed a number of repairs to equipment and with approval and with exercising physical distancing completed a number of projects on Cougar Field. There still will be a few projects remaining such as field prep (drop the outfield curtain, fertilize/aerate, rake work, and hanging of nets. But, we should be able to get the field into playing shape pretty quick now that the snow has melted and moisture is draining.
As coaches, we agree that 5 days of practice is required to get players back into condition to compete. One option that is being informally discussed among 4A/5A coaches is to push the season. There are a number of “visions” being informally discussed (again, among coaches only). One vision is to play games then a “season” ending tournament. Number of games to be played is in flux, some coaches would like to see League games only while others suggest 23. Some planners would like to prepare for an early-to-mid May start and run into July. I do have a number of college coaches and our partners with Marucci and Pro Nine that have tentatively agreed to work with us in making this “season” ending tournament some thing special. Ideally, it will help showcase players, that are playing for their high school team, while at the same time be competitive and hopefully at college venues. This showcase/H.S. tournament would be in early July. 4A/5A coaches are still in the process of gathering our best ideas, evaluating such then they will have to be vetted and approved by CHSAA, Jeffco School District and obviously conform to the above enumerated guidelines.
I know that this message probably raises more questions than it answers but I want you to know that we have not forgotten about you and that during these difficult and challenging times we are trying to be smart, be prepared and forward thinking. Your health and well-being is priority #1. Once we get the “green light” we will be ready to help players get back into playing shape and we will be in position to offer competitive play.
On another note, we have collectively worked on a Jeffco 4A Baseball College Recruiter guide. It is 90% complete and lists pertinent data about our high schools, our baseball programs, players that graduated and moved on to college ball, players to watch in 2020, team and player projections for 2020. It is in a pdf format and once all the Head Coaches sign-off, it will be released. It will be pushed to certain college recruiters and the media.
Thank you for your continued patience and commitment to Cougar Baseball.
John F. Lipka
Evergreen H.S. (EHS) Cougar Baseball