SPRINGFIELD, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The rumors of Rutherford baseball's death have been greatly exaggerated.
Despite damage and a blow to the student body, the Rams will field a varsity team. The kids are already excited and have confirmed their participation.
"Almost all of our varsity baseball team is back," head coach Cody Chizmar said. "I've talked to most of the players. We did lose one to the storm, moved to North Carolina...100 percent we're gonna play varsity baseball at Rutherford."
Michael left no field east of the Hathaway Bridge unscathed. It'll take time to get the Shamplain Complex back to normal, but there's plenty of time before the season to do just that.
"Our backstop and our visitor's dugout roof is off," Chizmar added. "The backstop is the main thing we need to get fixed and just get the field where it's safe. I know the district is going to sweep our field for nails and glass and make sure everything is safe for the kids to play before they do anything."
Amidst vast destruction, a common refrain from those affected has been a new perspective and appreciation that "others have it worse." The Rams are taking a similar stance on the rebuilding efforts.
"We don't have as much damage as maybe Bay and Mosley do right now, and they might be a bigger priority because it's going to take longer to fix their fields."
But when the time comes to start the season, the Rams will be ready.
"Our first game is on February 28th at home, so that's happening."
And in doing so, they'll beat the unfounded rumor of the program's demise, earning the first victory of the season simply by showing up.