Benton's Eric Stenberg confident guidelines will keep games safe

Published: May. 21, 2020 at 6:30 PM CDT
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The first steps are being taken to prepare for the 2020 high school baseball and softball seasons after the Iowa High School Athletic Association and Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union voted to lift the suspension of the summer seasons.

Players will be able to report to practice on June 1 and the first games will be played on June 15.

"Everybody was excited to get some good news with the initial announcement," said Cedar Rapids Xavier baseball head coach Dan Halter. "Now, I think everyone's waiting to see how that's going to look."

The Iowa Department of Education created certain guidelines for the coaches and players to follow during practice and games to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. More guidelines could be added in the next few days.

"I definitely think we can do this safely," said Benton Community softball head coach Eric Stenberg. "It's been my stance the whole time."

When Stenberg's not coaching, he's an emergency room doctor. He works at both Mercy Hospital in Iowa City and Washington County Hospital. He's been on the frontlines during COVID-19.

Before Wednesday's decision, he sent both the IHSAA and IGHSAU a list of recommendations that can be taken to make the games safe.

"We've seen most of the cases or most of the outbreaks are in confined spaces with large amounts of people together, so this is not one of those things," Stenberg said. "I'm confident that we can do this and everyone can do pretty well with it."

The state softball tournament is scheduled for July 20-24 and baseball will be July 24-Aug. 1.