The spring sports season is on hold. Every coach still yearns to be with his or her players during this time. Sunray head baseball coach Chuck Graves was looking forward to another highly competitive sophomore season with his team.
As it turned out, the outbreak of COVID-19 shortened the spring sports season, and most likely, ended the season for some schools. The Bobcats were coming off a huge tournament with three big wins and going 6-3 on the season. They finished 4-2 in tournament play before UIL suspended all activity.
Last year, the Sunray Bobcats regular season came to a close as they went 7-3 in the district and 15-3 overall. They earned a trip to the Bi-District round and won the Bi-District title by winning the two-game series over Clarendon. Although they dropped two games in the area playoff series, they ended the regular season strong.
Graves believes he could eventually see some more postseason action in the near future. He was looking to see where his Bobcats could go this season, but is optimistic for the future.
"I think it's very possible we could make a couple of runs eventually in the playoffs, two or three rounds deep," Graves said. "Of course, our goal is to play for state if we could."
Developing the Little League program would be key to launching the younger kids into high school baseball competitiveness.
"Baseball is a funny sport," he said. "... Every sport is unique in its own way. And baseball is definitely unique ... It's a game of failure.You go one-for-four, you're considered successful."
However, he does feel the athletes can learn from the game of baseball .
"It teaches the kids endurance," he said. "It teaches they got to persevere a little bit. When they graduate, they're going to have persevere in their life when things don't go their way."
Selflessness is another aspect of the game. Sacrifice an at bat to move a player into scoring position. It's part of the team aspect of the game.
With the district realignment, Sunray will most likely follow the basketball changes.
"It will be very similar to basketball," Graves said. "There will be some added and subtracted just for teams that have baseball and don't' have baseball."
The basketball district for the 2020-2021 school year for 2A-Region 1 is as follows:
Stinnett West Texas
So if Sunray follows suit with the new basketball district, this is what the district would look like. It appears as it stands now, Booker and Boys Ranch are out and Stratford has been added to make a five-team district.