SDHSBA spring season, American Legion national tourneys canceled

Post 18 players watch the action from the dugout during the first game of a doubleheader against Humboldt/Hartford on Sunday, July 7 at Cadwell Park.

The South Dakota High School Baseball Association board of directors met Monday night already knowing the decision that had to be made.

On Tuesday, the SDHSBA officially announced the cancelation of the high school baseball spring season due to COVID-19. It comes a day after the South Dakota High School Activities Association canceled spring sports and the state basketball tournaments following Gov. Kristi Noem’s decision to shut down in-person classes for the remainder of the school year.

“We’ve always kind of had the outlook of some of our rules are based off of what the SDHSAA (does),” said Mitchell baseball coach Luke Norden, who is also a SDHSBA board member. “... The decision was kind of made for us in this instance.”

The 2020 American Legion World Series and all eight region tournaments were canceled on Tuesday, too, along with the suspension of American Legion Baseball scholarships.

Norden, who is entering his 17th season as Mitchell’s coach, still called it a “high possibility” the South Dakota Legion season would still take place, citing the American Legion allowing each state to make its own decision.


Discussions have started between Legion coaches and coordinators about potential scenarios, but no decisions have been made. Post 18’s first game isn’t scheduled until May 26 at Renner.

“We’ve just started having those discussions amongst ourselves,” Norden said. “We’re not in any hurry to get anything out there due to the fact the Legion season for most teams wouldn’t start for over a month.”

The majority of Post 18’s contests are against in-state squads, including the state Legion tournament on July 24-28 in Brandon.

But it could still see alterations to its schedules, especially with a pair of out-of-state tournaments. Post 18 is scheduled to play in the Gillette Hdlaky tournament in Wyoming and the Gopher Classic in Minnesota.

“For (South Dakota) to still host and have a state tournament and play within our own teams here is still a high possibility,” Norden said.

The cancelation of the spring season didn’t mark the end to any careers on the Mitchell baseball team. Post 18 will bring its entire spring roster to a potential Legion season this summer. It’s also set to add South Dakota State University commit Brady Hawkins and Dakota Wesleyan University infielder Koby Larson.

For Norden, the biggest loss comes off the field.

“The missing out on the character building and those kind of things is really important to me,” he said. “I hope those guys understand in the overall scheme of things, this season being canceled isn’t all that big of a deal. It’s just missing out on the other stuff and staying connected and continuing to stay positive and be a good person.”


“Hopefully at some point with the summer season,” Norden continued. “We’re able to get back on the field to have some sense of normalcy back.”

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