GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — George Rosinski is in his ninth season as the West Catholic varsity baseball coach but this season is unlike any other.
After last season being completely canceled due to COVID-19, the sophomores have suddenly become seniors in terms of playing experience.
High school baseball coaches have had to be patient with the lack of experience on their rosters and have also had to try to figure out their opponents as well.
"It's absolutely a new experience," Rosinski said, "it's been a challenge for all of us coaches."
And with the new OK Conference realignment, the Falcons are now a part of the OK Blue division, which has had its own challenges.
"We're not only losing a season from last year, but we're also joining a new baseball league so it's a work in progress this year to figure out who we are, let alone trying to figure out what your opponents will be like."
The players are simply happy to be back on the field and continue to do all they can to keep the season going.
"One of our league opponents was in COVID quarantine, so we lost some league games and our kids see that side of it," said Rosinski, "whatever it's going to take. We mask up, try to stay away from each other, that's what we're trying to do to keep the season going. Every day is a new day, we test every Monday morning and you never know what a day will bring."
This season, the baseball program has had a lot of new and fun experiences including playing two games last weekend at LMCU Ballpark, the home of the West Michigan Whitecaps.
And on Saturday, it was an experience of a lifetime as the Falcons took on Greenville at Comerica Park. Despite a 9-0 loss, it's all about the experience.
"When you join the coaching ranks it's all about the experiences and at the end of the day the wins and losses will probably never set in 20 years from now, they won't say we lost to Greenville 9-0," Rosinski added, "they'll remember walking on the field and what not."
Rosinski says most of the players were pretty star struck by the experience.
"We were in the Tigers' dugout, so it was cool trying to figure out who's helmet rack you're going to use, is it Cabrera's or Schoop's or Candelario's?" Rosinski chuckled, "who gets this locker and this helmet rack? You get 20 kids in the game and give them that experience, that's what it's about."
And the coaches are hoping the big stage experiences this season pay off in the future.
"Maybe it wasn't our best performance yesterday but you try to put them in these situations because we talk about winning down the road. It wasn't about where we were on the scoreboard, it's the memories and stuff to put on the graduation board, that's what it's all about."
The Falcons will take on Spring Lake this week in OK Blue play with a double-header on Tuesday and the third game on Thursday.