CHEYENNE – The Cheyenne Extreme under-18 girls fastpitch softball team returned to practice last week.
Those sessions mostly consisted of strength and conditioning in groups of 10 or fewer people to comply with public health orders. Coach Adam Galicia expects to get serious about working on hitting, fielding and throwing this week.
Exactly what kind of season Cheyenne’s high school-age competitive softball squad is preparing for is still unclear. Extreme will participate in a tournament in Gillette this weekend, but what happens after that is anyone’s guess.
Under ordinary circumstances, Cheyenne would have been well into their season and had at least 20 games under their belts by this point on the calendar. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has created many extraordinary circumstances.
“Most of the places we would be playing down in Colorado are still shut down through the month of June,” Galicia said during an interview with Wyo-Sports. “There are some places that are opening back up, but they still have a lot of restrictions. Until places start allowing groups of at least 250 people, we can’t really play any tournaments.”
Wyoming’s current public health orders allow for groups of up to 25 people. Social distancing and face coverings are still encouraged. Those directives are inching toward teams at least being able to schedule doubleheaders as early as June 1.
“We’re in the pre-planning stages,” Galicia said. “There are a lot of teams in Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska who are itching to play. We have to be aware of what’s going on in their communities in terms of whether the number of positive tests are going up and that sort of thing.
“We might be able to get them here for doubleheaders if the number of people who can gather gets up to 50. We might not be able to have fans in the stands, but at least we could play softball.”
The Extreme organization typically holds its Extreme Weekend tournament the first weekend of June. That event features teams in divisions from under-10 to under-18. It has been tentatively pushed back to June 20-21. Roughly 40 teams are still registered for that tournament.
Galicia isn’t sure his team is going to be able to play in that event, though, because Laramie County School District 1 has tentatively set that weekend aside for Cheyenne’s four high schools to hold graduation ceremonies. This year’s Extreme roster features players from Cheyenne, Laramie, Torrington and Scottsbluff, Nebraska, so Galicia has several graduation dates to contend with.
Compounding issues for Galicia is that he and his son/assistant coach, Michael, work as civilian contractors at F.E. Warren Air Force Base. Because of COVID-19, they have been told not to venture anywhere farther than a two-hour drive from Cheyenne.
A California-based national tournament Extreme is scheduled to play in was up in the air late last week. There are alternatives that offer a similar level of competition closer to home, but it is much too early to start making reservations, Galicia said.
“We have gotten some really good input from all of our families about what they have coming up, and how they’re feeling about things,” Galicia said. “I’ve had a series of calls with coaches and state directors in Colorado and Wyoming to get updates on where everyone is at.
“I don’t know when, and I don’t know what it’s going to look like, but I’m confident we’ll be playing softball this summer.”