Maple Grove Softball Hoping to Defend Title
The Maple Grove softball team is hoping to get a chance to defend its state title.
The Crimson won the state Class AAAA title last season for their first championship.
Like all teams in Minnesota, Maple Grove is waiting to see if there will be a 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m more optimistic now than before (the last update regarding schools from Governor Walz) that there might be a season” said Crimson coach Jim Koltes.
Maple Grove had to cancel their usual spring trip to Cocoa Beach, Florida because of the outbreak.
It took a few hours on the phone but they did have good luck getting refunds on airfare and other trip-related bookings.
The Crimson and other softball teams had conducted tryouts and started practice before things were shut down by the MSHSL.
“We looked really sharp” in the first week, Koltes said.
Maple Grove did lose a few very key players from the title team to graduation, including pitching/hitting star Ava Dueck.
They do have seven regular returning though, and were feeling good about the possibilities this season.
Maple Grove’s staff has given players some ideas for optional home workouts, and they are staying in touch via the team’s Twitter page.
They also had a “team lunch” on Zoom.
“We’re just trying to make sure the players stay connected” during this uncertain time, according to Koltes.
As it stands now, schools will be out through at least May 4.
Koltes says coaches have discussed some ways to make the most of a shortened season, if there is one.
Things like doubleheaders, playing more games on Saturdays or even Sundays have been discussed.
Koltes says he thinks three days of practice would be sufficient before beginning games.
It’s all a waiting game now for players and coaches at Maple Grove and around the country.
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