The Ready softball team had what coach Jen Goff called a "really great last practice outside" before athletes in spring sports were required by the OHSAA to enter a "no-contact" period beginning March 17 because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Picking up where the Silver Knights left off, especially considering their expectation level, has been paramount in their focus since that time.

Ready was a Division III district runner-up last season and returns a veteran lineup.

The spring sports season is postponed through at least May 1 because the OHSAA is following Gov. Mike DeWine's stay-at-home order. Most students across Ohio have not been inside their school buildings since March 13.

"I've been looking forward to my senior night ever since I was a freshman and it would mean the world to me to have that experience," senior infielder Kiley Gallagher said. "This has also taught me to never take softball for granted. ... Right now, it's very heartbreaking to think that I don't remember my last game as a Silver Knight."

Gallagher has committed to play for Ursuline College, where she plans to study nursing. She has been working at a nursing home in addition to practicing with her sister, junior outfielder Katie Gallagher, who also is a returning starter for the Silver Knights.

"It definitely affects our preparation not being able to get together as a team, but we're making the best of it," Goff said. "Our coaching staff put together a three-day-a-week workout program that can be done at home. We have also given them drills that can be done at home, such as hitting and skill work to keep them fresh.

"We've talked about being prepared to hit the ground running as soon as we can. This is why they should be working out and doing skill work. We should be prepared for anything the OHSAA gives us and be thankful we get to play."

Another returning starter on the softball team hoping to still get a chance to compete this spring is senior catcher Hannah Bryan, an Ohio State recruit.

"I'm participating in weekly virtual hitting," Bryan said. "I have a daily fitness workout routine that I do in my basement based upon cardio, speed and agility and weight training. I get outside daily and throw and work on hitting. I like to run often and enjoy the fresh air."

Ready's other spring sports are heading into transition seasons.

The boys tennis team had nine seniors last season and was set to return only two of its seven players from its postseason lineup. The first day of practice was March 9.

The track and field and baseball teams both have new coaches.

David Winton has taken over the track program, which lost nine athletes from a year ago to graduation.

Senior Jack Foley, who is expected to be one of the top sprinters for the boys team, has found it difficult to stay on a specific workout routine.

"I really don't have that much equipment at home to use," Foley said. "My workouts vary pretty much every day, consisting mainly of push-ups and core. I also try to find new workouts to do every day in order to keep things fresh. I get outside when I can by either riding my bike, playing basketball or running."

Joe Dimel has taken over as coach of the baseball team, which went 0-20 last season.

"Some of the things I'm doing to stay in shape are working out in my garage and biking around my neighborhood," sophomore infielder Cael Dent said. "I have a rack set up in my garage where I can bench and squat along with many other workouts I can choose from. ... I play baseball, so some days I'll throw the ball with my brothers in the front yard or get some cuts in to keep me ready to go if we ever go back. I can get outside every now and then when I get the chance. Usually what I do is get some footwork in.

"It would mean everything to me if we're able to have a spring sports season because I love being with my teammates and getting out and having fun. ... Hopefully, we can have a spring season, but I don't see it coming anytime soon."

Athletics director Steve McQuade has stressed focusing on "the things that you can control" to his spring sports coaches during the uncertainty.

"I've told the coaches to keep giving student-athletes workouts to do at home to keep improving their skills and staying in shape," McQuade said. "We have to keep the faith that spring sports will have somewhat of a season. If they do not, though, at least student-athletes are getting better, both in their classes electronically and in their individual sports.

"My heart goes out to the seniors, as well, if a spring season doesn't take place. I have told coaches to stay in contact with their student-athletes. It's a difficult time and unusual change of routines for all of our students. Coaches might be the person student-athletes turn to if they need someone to (talk) to."

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek