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North Tama baseball season lost to COVID-19

Three days after the North Tama softball team saw its season end prematurely, the Redhawk baseball team suffered the same fate. Neither squad got to play its last game.

North Tama head baseball coach Dan Kopriva confirmed to the Times-Republican on Thursday that his team’s campaign was finished, ending a promising 10-2 season before it could reach district play because of precautions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Due to a player being directly exposed to COVID and experiencing symptoms, and in collaboration with the Tama County Health Department, the North Tama baseball season came to a close [Thursday] just before district play,” Kopriva stated. “We are disappointed that we will not get a chance to play in the postseason, especially after having a great year and winning our third conference title in a row. We are thankful we did get a chance to experience some baseball this summer.”

The Redhawks were scheduled to host a pair of first-round games in Class 1A District 9 action on Saturday in Traer, but North Tama will now forfeit its contest against Belle Plaine. The game between Gladbrook-Reinbeck and Wapsie Valley will be relocated to Reinbeck and played at 7 p.m., according to a source that wished to remain anonymous because the Iowa High School Athletic Association had not yet confirmed the change of venue.

“Unfortunately, Saturday’s first-round district baseball game vs. Belle Plaine has to be canceled,” the school district announced via Facebook and Twitter. “This will end the Redhawk baseball season, but we are incredibly proud of the boys and all of their hard work through these tough times.”

The IHSAA’s bracket for District 9 didn’t reflect a change as of press time. District semifinal games on July 14 also were scheduled to be held in Traer, but that will likely change as well.

Grundy Center hosts the other half of the first-round district games on Saturday, with seventh-ranked Don Bosco standing as the top seed in the bracket. The district final is slated for July 18 at the George F. Wilhelm Complex in Grundy Center.

The North Tama softball team canceled the remainder of its season on Monday due to a player’s exposure to a person who tested positive for COVID-19.

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