Transfer and Eligibility: What’s Next For Skyline Baseball Players

Due to COVID-19, all sports games have been postponed or cancelled for the 2020 spring semester. While the California Community College Athletics Association (CCCAA)

made the announcement on March 12 that the spring sports season was postponed this year. However, for the Skyline baseball team, it was a shame for some sophomore players who might transfer after this year, it definitely has become a large impact for them.

This past season, the team had a total of 12 sophomore players on the roster. Sophomore catcher Matt Leong had a .441 batting average along with 14 RBIs on the season. The season would have been a shine for him while Leong expressed the postponed season changed his daily routine.

“For the daily routine it really changes a lot since we don’t have classes at school or baseball anymore,” Leong said. “Everyday but sunday we had baseball for pretty much four hours then plus school it took up a lot of our day. So now for me I just have a lot of free time.”

Meanwhile, since the season postponed, it definitely has a certain impact on their physical strength. However, Leong said this gives him time to rest.

“The season is really draining and a lot of the time most of the guys have to work through being tired a lot. This break has definitely given me a lot of free time to rest and recover.”

Among the players at Skyline, most of them will transfer after their sophomore year, since the season is suspended, all transfer application plans will be delayed.

Regarding this situation, Joseph Morello, Dean of Kinesiology, Athletics and Dance. He acknowledged that due to the COVID-19, most students will stay in the team for another season, this doesn’t affect them on transfer that much.

“I think a number of the students will remain at Skyline and play again next year. They were given their year back by our athletic association at that year and will be recognized by the NCAA and NAIA. Still, a handful of sophomores, especially those in their third year, will transfer.”

According to the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), the council vote also provided schools with the flexibility to give students the opportunity to return for the 2020-21 season without requiring that athletics aid be provided at the same level awarded for 2019-20.

As far as the announcement, Morello feels that this gives students more time to play and get experience in their sports career.

“The good news for those students is that they have an additional year to play at the four year level. Although, to gain that benefit, most would have to pursue a master’s degree.”

Currently, on the Trojans Roster, closer Michael Altmen has admitted to get a school offer, therefore the season postponed doesn’t affect him that much.

“Thankfully it doesn’t affect me much because I committed before the season was cancelled so now I’ll get three years on scholarship at Oklahoma Baptist.”

Beside the season getting postponed, players are still doing some workouts at home to maintain their status during quarantine.

“I’m lucky enough to have a small cage in my garage so I can get some swings in and also have some weights I can workout a little bit until gyms open up again,” Leong said “I know a lot of the guys on our team are doing the same thing and staying sharp.”

In addition, Morello as a dean of Trojans, gives suggestions about what players can do  besides training and games to progress in their baseball career.

“Baseball is such a mental game. They need to replay situations from every position to keep themselves sharp both offensively and defensively,” Morello said “This is a good opportunity to engage in mental training, visualization and positive self-talk so the athletes can maintain their sharpness.”