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Ashwaubenon softball frustrated with postponement, but understands

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The Ashwaubenon softball team is trying to deal with the postponement for the start of the season due to the coronavirus. (Doug Ritchay/WLUK)

ASHWAUBENON (WLUK) -- Normally when the spring sports season is put on hold it's because of the weather, but this time it is anything but normal. The coronavirus has wreaked havoc with the sports world and that includes spring sports which have been postponed at least until mid-April.

Among the sports put on hold is softball. Ashwaubenon won the Fox River Classic Conference last season and is a favorite to win it again. However, waiting to see if even a season will happen is tough.

"We normally know when we are going to be able to start and now not knowing if we're going to get that chance is really hard," Ashwaubenon senior Kally VanLaanen said. "Every day we have to see what's changing in the world around us and I feel like that's the most difficult thing, not only for us, but for today's society.

"We don't know what tomorrow's going to bring and I feel like that's real difficult for everyone right now."

Spring sports always deals with postponements due to weather, but ironically this year the weather has cooperated and teams could have actually started their seasons on time. Instead, teams are in a waiting game.

Furthermore, because school is currently closed -- students have to do schoolwork from home -- no practices can be held. Athletes are on their own to continue to work out with the hope the season will start.

"At this point there are no gatherings," Ashwaubenon softball coach Shannon VanLaanen said. "The WIAA has said no practices and no games until the 14th of April at the very soonest or at the very least so the girls will have a workout they can do individually.

"They're not allowed to get together in groups. I think they will continue to push themselves and they'll be ready. They're just hoping they get some opportunity to play some ball this spring."

Jaguars pitcher Katelynn Cleveland works almost year-round to prepare for the season and possibly not playing is hard to deal with.

"It's frustrating, especially for people like me," she said. "I'm only a one-sport athlete and softball is my spring sport and that's the thing I look forward to the whole school year and I think from that perspective, you put a lot of time and effort into something you enjoy and for it to be postponed, put on hold, it's definitely frustrating."

During this time nobody is certain what will happen next in regards to the coronavirus. The key is to remain healthy and part of that is not attending school for now.

Kally VanLaanen says as senior it's hard to miss these days of school.

"I think it's going to be different," she said about staying home. "I think one of the hardest things is this is our last year at the high school and we've been going to school with these kids for our whole lives and it's going to be hard to step away from that.

"We're not going to see these people ever again and to lose a month of that , for me especially, is going to be real hard."

Hopefully it is just one month.

Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay

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