Staying game ready


NIXA, Mo. — For spring sport athletes across the country, like Nixa’s senior catcher Joe Reid, it was the typical start of the season.

“I mean, we were preparing for jamborees,” Reid said.

With a lot of promise, and eyes on a state championship.

“We have a really tight senior group,” Reid said. “The past few years we definitely had the talent, but the chemistry wasn’t always there. This was the first year we had both factors.”

Until it all came crashing down.

“I think everybody was kind of shocked,” Reid said. “It took a little bit to set in that everything we had done in the offseason, not necessarily put to waste, but we weren’t going to be able so show what we have become.”

With the closing of schools across the Ozarks, games and practices are canceled with it. Seniors left wondering, if their high school careers are over.

“A lot of teams out of state have already canceled their seasons,” Reid said. “Luckily we still have a little bit of a chance that we will get to play at the end. I think everyone is in the same boat, it’s definitely tough right now.”

This past Tuesday, MSHSAA announced the possibility of spring championships was still on the table, but it might have a different look.

“It’s been encouraging to see everybody on board, especially after this whole thing has taken place,” Reid said. “I think we have a lot of guys that really care about it and if we get the chance, we’ll definitely be ready.”

But until schools reopened, there won’t be any practice. Athletes left scrambling to find other ways to stay on top of their game.

“Number one, it’s eye-opening,” Reid said. “You don’t realize how much we have here that kind of gets taken for granted each and every day. A lot of the weights and lifting I have been doing at my house. I’ve been lucky enough to have a cage, so that is super nice.”

Reid still has plenty to play for. His long, winding recruiting journey led him to sign with Indiana in February. And if his Eagles career has reached its end, Reid says it’s been a ride he won’t soon forget.

“It’s made me everything that I am,” Reid said. “Playing with those guys and under Coach (Jason) Daugherty has been an experience I wouldn’t change for anything. It was a family, it wasn’t just baseball.”

The Nixa school system is tentatively scheduled to be closed through April 24th.

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