TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - At Faulkner Park, Tyler Lee Softball coach Justin Kniffen works out his team using the social distance approach, infielders in the morning, outfielders later.
“Well since UIL is giving us the hours we get to work with, we’re kind of breaking down, getting real fundamentals right now. We’are breaking up, going into corners, middles, infield, outfield. Getting really good one on one time so. The goal since we stopped right in the middle of our season is to kind of get back to hit some fundamentals and get going that way,” Kniffen said.
The Lady Raiders were primed to reach the post season, building chemistry on and off the field, then the cheering stopped.
High school sports saw their spring season fold during the pandemic, so now with limitations, the athletes can find that gear of momentum although the playoff ride is wiped out. These players with strong practices, and a great mental approach didn’t get to put that all together, enduring a three-month layoff.
“Honestly, I was pretty devastated. I was really looking forward to a good season, with lots of competition,” said Gabriela Escandon.
“I really didn’t get a chance to showcase what I’ve been working on so I feel like I’ve improved a lot as an individual. But since the pandemic happened and shut us down, I was kind of shattered, but you know we can’t control that,” said Zoie Walker.
Zoie Walker, with her father, gets an extra session of working out, but for the team as a whole just being outside and fine tuning their game gives them hope for a jump on the upcoming season.