KIMT NEWS 3 SPORTS -- The Iowa summer baseball and softball seasons wrapped up in Des Moines and Fort Dodge over the weekend. For all the challenges teams faced this year, most were able to survive this pandemic without any interruptions.
Wins, losses and state championships aside, the biggest joy for many players this summer was getting on the field.
"It's awesome that we even got to play," Newman Catholic freshman Doug Taylor said following the team's loss to Don Bosco in Saturday's 1A Final. "So many kids didn't get this chance. We're so lucky and so blessed that we got to be able to play this season."
Thrilling finishes, heartbreak and somehow a sense of relief that players got to play their favorite game.
"I think it meant everything, especially if you're a senior," Osage athletic director and head baseball coach Michael Henson said. "You could see some of the tears when the season ended to all the smiles."
With the challenges imposed by the Coronavrius and even getting the season off the ground, Henson believes the season to be a success.
"We were able to get to the end of the season without shutting down completely," he said. "Pretty low percentage of teams that actually had their seasons end early and you feel bad for them but at the end of the day the percentage was pretty darn low."
The attention now turns to fall sports and whether not it's safe to play. Iowa has decided to go forward with a season. The Minnesota State High School League will make their decision Tuesday -- the league has a meeting slated for 9 a.m.
With the Hawkeye State the first in the nation to return to high school athletics, Henson said he could see other teams using Iowa as a benchmark on how to safely return to sports during a pandemic.
"If they did I would hope we set a good example and I think we did and set a good example in that it can be done," he said.