American Legion

Eagles players starting to shake the rust

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Photos by Ray Hamill/HumboldtSports.com – Nick Dugan in action at practice on Tuesday evening.

By Ray Hamill — The Humboldt Eagles held a third day of tryouts while observing social distancing protocols on Tuesday, and according to head coach Matt Tomlin the players are beginning to look sharp.

The local American Legion baseball club, which will field three teams this summer, returned to practice last week, the first local sports program to do so.

And despite the obstacles and challenges they face due to COVID-19 restrictions, the coach says things have been going well.

“You’re starting to see the rust getting off them,” Tomlin said. “They’re really starting to look sharp and the amount of talent we have on the field is really starting to show.”

The players have been maintaining appropriate social distancing at the practice sessions, and working out in small groups in separate areas of the field.

“We’re still divided into groups where we have guys pitching, hitting and fielding (separately) so we can keep that social distancing,” Tomlin said. “We haven’t done an all-out team practice yet.”

Despite the challenges, the players appear happy just to be back out on the field.

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“The kids, they just want to be out there,” Tomlin said. “They just want the opportunity to play.”

The Eagles will field teams at 19U, 17U and 16U.

The 19U team had hoped to be given the all clear to play an intra-squad game this weekend, but that has been put on hold for now after California entered a modified phase 3 of the state reopening plan on Tuesday, one that does not yet allow for games to be played.

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