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Poplarville baseball starting to click prior to suspension

The Poplarville Hornets baseball team took on the Pope John Paul II Jaguars March 9 and won 10-5.

Little did the Hornets know it would be their last game before the Mississippi High School Activities Association suspended the season until March 29 due to the outbreak of COVID-19, commonly known as Coronavirus.

The win brought the Hornets up to an 8-3 record on the season.

Head Coach Slade Jones said things were just starting to fall into place for his team prior to the suspension coming down from the MHSAA.

“Right there towards the last game we played, things were starting to click and I was really excited. I felt like we were playing a lot better,” Jones said.

Jones said his players knew what was going on and had a number of questions prior to the season being suspended due to the outbreak.

The decision came on March 16 from the MHSAA that the season would be suspended until March 29.

Jones said he agrees with the decision and believes the organization will make the right choice for players and fans.

“I’m very confident the MHSAA will do what is in the best interest of student athletes. You can tell they’re together and trying to come up with a solution,” Jones said.

The suspension puts the team in a unique position because there were still several more weeks of games planned, not including the playoffs.

Now the athletes have time to rest and recover as the MHSAA decides whether or not the season will start back up again.

Jones said in the past he would notice some fatigue in his players towards the end of the season.

Baseball teams play a lot of games in a short period of time, which can affect the athletes.

The suspension may just allow the Hornets to come back reinvigorated and ready if and when the season starts back up again.

“I’ve always felt the players come back sharper from rest time. I don’t know if it has to do with being refreshed mentality and physically, or what. To be honest it’s hard to tell because this is a unique situation,” Jones said.

While some of the athletes will find ways to keep their skills honed during the suspension, Jones said there hasn’t been any contact with the athletes.

Jones said in an uncertain situation like this the best thing to do is just make decisions that keep everyone safe.

“We’re concerned with the health and safety of our students first. Our kids will do stuff at home, but as far as specific stuff to do we’ll just be focused on safety,” Jones said.