ROCHESTER, Minn. - For the first time in nearly two years spring sports are back in Minnesota. The Mayo Spartans baseball team is relishing the opportunity to get back on the diamond but they know things will look different in 2021.
"We have to go about this being smart and if we're not we get shut down," Mayo Head Coach Tom Senne said.
The season is just two days old but the Spartans know it can be taken away at any moment. Senne said his team is being cautious at practices.
Mayo has separated its varsity, junior varsity and ninth grade teams. Each group is separated into pods containing 20 to 25 players. Masks are worn and they're limiting player gatherings. Hand sanitizer is available.
Even if we are overdoing it a little bit this early and seeing some of the trends that have been happening with winter sports right now we're just trying to be as cautious as possible," Senne said.
The Minnesota State High School League requires pods of no more than 50 individuals when outdoors and athletes must wear masks on the field. Even with the changes, some don't notice that much of a difference.
"It's only different wearing a mask but If that's what we're going to have to do to play games this year, that's what we're going to have to do," senior Brevin Goetz said.
If it means following extra guidelines to preserve a season, Senne says the players are all for it.
"All of those guys out there, they want to be playing and some of those guys lost a hockey season at the end of the year," he said. "It just comes back to the feel of everyone's happy to be out here right now and we're trying to do everything as best as possible to stay out here."
Mayo will open up its season April 8 hosting John Marshall.