By: Trey Daly
Baseball has been on the shelf for over a month now here in the USA. When the news broke that all sports activities were postponed everyone around the nation was in shock including Dakota State Pitching Coach Kramer Sneed. Today, we traveled out to Madison, South Dakota to get Coach Sneed’s thoughts on the current situation.
Where were you when you first heard about the Coronavirus?
I was in Madison, South Dakota in my office, preparing for our spring break trip to Tucson, AZ when I first saw some mentions of it on Twitter I believe.
What was your initial reaction?
Honestly, I did not believe it at first. We have had virus scares like this in the past that have never come to fruition like COVID-19, so I did not read into it too much right away.
How was your coaching staff made aware your season was in limbo?
Coach Hardie, our head coach, was receiving updates from the Northstar conference pretty regularly, and the rest of us were just following Twitter non-stop. Once we saw that all the winter sports were cancelling their conference tournaments, that is when we saw the writing on the wall and really began to worry about our season.
What was your message to your team?
Coach Hardie did a great job of keeping our team focused until the premature ending to the spring season. We were in Tucson, AZ playing our spring break schedule, so we still wanted to go out and compete at a high level in the midst of the rumors, and we were able to do that because the coaching staff preached mental focus on the job at hand, “controlling what we can control.”
Once the cancellation happened for the 2020 baseball season, what went through your mind?
Shock and sadness. Our team had worked so hard through the fall, winter, and early spring, and for them to have the season taken away was just devastating. This is such an unprecedented event in our world; it was honestly difficult to find words to describe what was going on in my head personally.
Turning the page to the 2021 season, what has your message been to the club?
Coach Hardie has preached culture since taking the job in the summer of 2019, and that will continue to be the focus! Selfless, excellence, and energy are our three words we use constantly. We will keep pushing the squad to improve daily by focusing on what they can control. DSU baseball made great strides this spring (4-30 in 2019, 6-10 in 2020) on and off the field, and we hope that this canceled season fuels our young men to work even harder every day until we step back on the field together!
How have you used this time to help prepare for next spring?
We have focused our efforts on finishing the 2020 recruiting class, but also taking time to evaluate the individual efforts of the players and deciding what areas we need to improve on as a team to take another big step forward in the 2021 season. Overall, this has been a time of reflection and also excitement, we expect the DSU Baseball team to be humble and hungry when the 2021 season starts!