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SH baseball opts to split team for practices

Smaller groups allow for social distancing and more one-on-one instruction

JEWELL — Kyle Galetich made the decision to add 90 minutes to his normal summer workday in an effort to keep his South Hamilton baseball team healthy. In the long run, he thinks it will benefit his team in other ways too.

Rather than hold one practice, Galetich has opted to split his squad into two groups and conduct two sessions — a decision he thinks will last the entire season.

“The first practice of 13 kids was an hour and a half, and the second was 11 kids for an hour and a half,” Galetich said after the Hawks wrapped up their first day of drills Monday night. “I will probably do it the entire year. That way I can have people separated out, and it’s easier to keep 12 kids separated than it is 24 or 25.”

But Galetich sees an extra benefit to the decision — more direct instruction with each of his players.

“It’s no different than in a classroom … in smaller classes, the kids get more of your attention,” he said. “This way, we get more one-on-one attention with them. We’ve got three coaches and we can get a lot of detailed stuff done, so I like it from that aspect.”

Baseball and softball teams all across the state began practice on Monday, and the opening day for games is set for June 15 when South Hamilton will head to Prairie City-Monroe.

Summer practices were originally scheduled to begin in early May, but were postponed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. On May 20, Governor Kim Reynolds gave the green light for summer sports to resume, but a lengthy list of guidelines were put into place by the Iowa High School Athletic Association and Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union.

Social distancing is a must. Players and coaches have been asked to take their temperatures at home prior to practices or games. Equipment is to be kept separate whenever possible.

Galetich says he and his coaches spent the first day making sure the players adhered to the regulations, and will continue to do so throughout the season.

Regardless of the circumstances and extra strain to keep the season afloat, Galetich said it was just good to see his team together again.

“It was just good seeing the kids again, to be honest,” he said. “I think the kids were just excited to be around each other.”

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