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Ariton willing to do anything to play ball

The Ariton Purple Cats returned to school in early June ready to get back to work after a lengthy time away. With only weeks until the scheduled start of the season, the Purple Cats are hoping to play and they are willing to do anything to make it happen.

COVID-19 wrecked havoc on athletics all over the country. The Purple Cats returned to work with mask in hand and got back to work.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” head coach Steve Kilcrese said. “We had everybody back at workouts. We’ve had good workouts. We’ve been dealing with changes with social distancing and wearing masks. The restrictions are different, but we are airing on the side of caution.”

Many of the Purple Cat players were playing baseball when the virus struck. When they got the ok to get back to work, the players came running.

“There was excitement to actually get out and do something,” Kilcrease said. “A lot of guys were playing baseball and they got stopped. They couldn’t go through spring football so I think there was excitement. We were able to get a lot done in the month of June. I think the kids have adjusted well.

Before returning to campus, the Purple Cat coaches were only able to communicate to their players via the phone or text.

“We were able to stay in touch and that helped,” Kilcrease said. “We gave them workouts and things to do. Coach Dunn gave them a workout to do on a daily basis. Our kids came in in shape for the most part.”

Ariton is tentatively scheduled to open the season on August 21 when they host Dale County. Kilcrease and the Purple Cats are willing to do anything to have a season if even if it’s pushed back.

“We obviously all want to be turned loose and go, but that not’s going to happen and it doesn’t need to happen,” Kilcrease said. “We know how serious this is and we will do what we have to do. They told us tomorrow they will be delaying the season for a month then so be it.”