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With no baseball, Gluschick filling the void

The end of April during a normal high school baseball season meant the postseason was on horizon and the season was drawing to a close.

Coaches would be making their final preparations for what they hope would be a deep run in the playoffs. Instead, the fields remain empty and the batting cages are silent. There will be no playoffs this season and no chance for local teams to hoist a state championship.

Instead, teams are adjusting to life without baseball. Instead of coaching on the field, local coaches are coaching their students academically.

New Charles Henderson head baseball coach John Gluschick is the heath teacher at the high school. He, like many other teachers, are adapting to the unprecedented times.

“It’s uncharted waters,” Gluschick said. “I reached out to my students and their parents to make sure everyone is on task. It’s tough because we have never done this before. Each and every day things get better as far as what we put on the computer. It’s been eye opening, but everybody is getting better at it.”

As the health teacher, Gluschick is able to help his students understand the coronavirus and its dangers.

“A lot of health issues have come out of this,” Gluschick said. “It’s been an easy topic to teach so far, but one I never thought I would have to teach. Hopefully things are moving in the right direction.”

When he isn’t teaching, Gluschick is never too far away from the game of baseball. He uses his free time to learn the latest nuances of the game.

“I’m trying to learn more and broaden my horizons,” Gluschick said. “We can learn something from baseball every day. I watched a couple coaching clinics and trying to stay safe.”

Gluschick stays in constant contact with his players, making sure they are staying all is well and that they are healthy.

“I try to touch base with them every week just to see what is going on and how they are doing,” Gluschick said. “A lot of them are working and staying active. I think this will bring us closer when things do get back to normal.”

Gluschick has four seniors on his roster. He plans on doing something special for those four when things calm down. He believes his seniors have adjusted and are now looking forward to college.

“It breaks my heart,” Gluschick said. “Their senior year is gone 15 games into a season. They are looking forward to college. One of the four is going to be playing college ball.”

With Governor Kay Ivey’s stay at home order set to expire at the beginning of May, Gluschick has hope that things will slowly return to normal this summer. When that does happen, Gluschick hopes to get back to his normal offseason duties as well as get his players back up to speed.

“I umpire a lot during the summer and hopefully things get back to normal in May,” Gluschick said. “I want to get with my guys and do some strength and conditioning program with them. I was thinking about going to a team camp and if we can do that, that would be awesome.”

Whether it’s travel ball or American Legion baseball, Gluschick is going to encourage is players to play during the summer. Gluschick believes the return of baseball would do a lot of good for players and coaches throughout the state.

“If we can get the American pastime back I think that would ease a lot of our tensions as coaches,” Gluschick said. “We can go watch our guys play.”

Until then, Gluschick will wait patiently for things to get better and get back to normal.

“We just have to keep praying,” Gluschick said. “God will do his thing and everything will be alright.”