The 2020 Staples High School baseball team could not defend its ’19 state and FCIAC championships — because there was no ’20 season. COVID-19 knocked out all spring sports in the state.
But the Wrecker coaches and Diamond Club boosters found a way to honor the athletes who would have played.
Yesterday, they held a traditional “Senior Day” in a very non-traditional way.
Family members lined the field — masked and socially distanced, of course.
A guest speaker — Staples alum Dave Ruden, publisher of the all-FCIAC, all-the-time sports site The Ruden Report — praised the players and the program.
Coach Jack McFarland presented the school’s 2 highest awards — Block “S” trophies — to well-deserving recipients.
Most Valuable Player honors went to all the seniors.
And the Coaches’ Award was presented to longtime manager/superfan/ inspiration Dylan Curran. He gave a gracious speech, thanking each coach and every player for always including him and making him feel a part of the team.
He promised he would always come back to cheer Staples on, from his next destination: Sacred Heart University.
The day ended with the unveiling of a plaque. It noted that the Wreckers were ranked #31 in a national pre-season poll. We’ll never know where they would have ended up, if they had actually played games.
It wasn’t the Senior Day any of the Wreckers — or their friends and families — dreamed of.
But considering the coronavirus circumstances, it was a grand slam.