Today high school baseball and softball players from across the state of Iowa will take to the fields for the first time this year. Some schools and teams so eager, they started practice at 12:01 AM. The North Iowa baseball team was one of them, they posted a picture to their social media accounts at 1:30 AM as the practice was well on its way.
The Bison were joined by many high schools all around all wanting to get a head start on the season. The first public thought of a midnight practice came from an article written about two-time defending state softball champions, Collins-Maxwell. Along with the Bison and Spartans, dozens of schools took to social media posting about their practices under the lights. These schools that participated are the first in the country to practice high school sports, Iowa is one of only three states that doesn’t play baseball and softball in the spring, but instead, Iowa plays in the summer.
According to North Iowa activities director Meggon Jacobs, after a discussion on safety, there wasn’t much more said about not sponsoring baseball and softball this season.
The Bison are looking to build on a 7-21 campaign this past season under fourth-year head coach, Zach Meinders.
Jacobs says that Meinders, along with others were involved in the decision-making process.
Now with practice underway, everyone is thinking about hitting the field against other area schools. The Top of Iowa Conference is jumping right in on June 15th with the second half of their conference schedule to decide a conference champion. When attending games this season Jacobs explains what Bison and opponent fans will notice.
The conference has also decided to join other conferences in the state and not have ticket-takers at summer baseball and softball games. Schools will, however, ask that you leave a freewill donation when attending games. There will be an added financial burden on schools this season to go along with their normal cost to run these programs.
North Iowa will start the season off against Garner-Hayfield-Ventura looking for their first victory over the Cardinals since June 29th, 2012.