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Burning the midnight oil

CCA softball starts the season at the earliest possible moment
Clear Creek Amana High School softball players walk off the diamond at the end of the first practice of the 2020 season Monday, June 1, at McAreavy Field, in Oxford. The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union set June 1 as the first day practice sessions could be held and the Clippers joined several other teams across the state starting at midnight.

OXFORD– The Creek Girls couldn’t wait any longer.
The Clear Creek Amana (CCA) High School softball team started the 2020 season at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, June 1, the first day of practice per the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU), Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA), the Governor’s Office, the Iowa Deptartment of Education and the Iowa Department of Public Health.
“It was just a matter of brainstorming, trying to come up with something different to do,” said co-coach Ken Thimmesch. “I said, hey, 12:01, we can do this, so I passed it on to Jodie (co-coach Jodie Scheetz).”
Scheetz was initially skeptical, but within a few days she and Thimmesch were asking players and parents about the idea. CCA Activities Director Kurt Ronnfeldt was also consulted.
“He said if it works, go for it,” Thimmesch noted.
Thimmesch added never in his career had he practiced at midnight.
“But this year has been totally upside down, so why not start something off unique?” he said. “And, 20 years from now, they’ll remember this.”
The hour-ish long session was strictly optional, but 32 players showed up, dutifully placing their equipment along a fence line and trying their best to keep 6 feet of distance between themselves in compliance with state-issued guidelines.
“We figured if they show up, good. But they’re going to turn around and be back here at 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (group one) and 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (group two),” said Thimmesch.
Around 25-30 parents and nearly as many students joined forces on Sunday, May 31, for a field cleanup day raking, trimming trees, putting up netting, cleaning out the concession stand and press box and building a new hitting station.
“Anything that was needed,” he said. “It’s just absolutely phenomenal of the turnout we had. It makes you get a little excited. The kids are talking like it’s Christmas Eve. They’re excited about something new. There’s kids here I haven’t seen since the shutdown, so it’s fun to see the kids surface again.”
On Wednesday, May 20, Governor Kim Reynolds announced the summer sports season could proceed and approved the reopening of school facilities beginning on Monday, June 1. In response the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU) and Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) issued a joint statement that afternoon stating the first contests may begin on Monday, June 15.
The Clippers open competition on the road at Vinton-Shellsburg with a varsity doubleheader starting at 6 p.m. Their first home game, a varsity doubleheader, is set for Monday, June 22, when Benton Community visits for a 6 p.m. game time.