OWASSO, Okla. — As Oklahoma begins phase two of reopening, there is a split on who will be out and about this weekend. But a handful of parents who will see their kids take the field once again are looking forward to getting back outside.
Mother Nature delayed the start of the East-West Shootout in Owasso, but when the fields dry up parents will watch their kids play ball once again in the youth baseball tournament.
Kelli Pattison is looking forward to watching her nine and 14-year-olds take the field, even though it comes with uncertainty.
“The pros are absolutely watching our kids play ball again. The cons are this is something that needs to be taken seriously, but I do believe everyone in our baseball community is taking the steps needed to be able to go back to play,” Pattison said. "It’s tough watching them be upset missing everything."
Pattison says it will be good to get the kids out of the house, and getting back on the field with their friends.
"I enjoy spending time with them no matter what they’re doing," Pattison said, "but there’s something to be said about watching your children play the sport they love.”
The games will look different, with special rules put in place by the tournament officiators, like no shaking hands or sunflower seeds.
But the kids just want to play. For those who have already returned to practice, coaching has looked different as well. CJ Medlin at Sports Performance Institute has been training catchers at Mid-West Catching Academy, and neither he nor the kids could wait for this weekend to arrive.
"The moment we were able to open up and be essential enough to let people back in, you saw the smiles on kids’ faces being able to play the game they love, and that drives our passion behind it,” Medlin said. "I think overall they’re going to be out there with pure enjoyment.”
Medlin believes once the first pitch crosses the plate, all the focus will once again be on the game.
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