Celebrating seniors: Grain Valley baseball, scholarship hopes on hold

MSHSAA springs sports jeopardized by COVID-19
Posted at 1:37 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 14:37:29-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Grain Valley Eagles' baseball season was supposed to start last Thursday. Just as with every other high school sport in Kansas and Missouri, it didn't happen.

For now, all MIssouri State High School Activities Association events are suspended.

Across the state line in Kansas, all spring sports already have been cancelled for 2020, a fate the Eagles know also could befall Missouri spring sports at any time.

"(We're) hoping that that bell doesn't get rung," Grain Valley head baseball coach Brian Driskell said. "All of us are just staying hopeful as long as we can."

That includes his players.

"I'm still working out at home, just trying to stay active," Grain Valley senior pitcher Jacob Misiorowski said. "I'm running hills and different stuff like that, just trying to keep at it."

Misiorowski doesn't need to play his high school senior season to have a future in baseball. He's one of the top prospects in the Kansas City area.

The 6-foo-7 right-hander has a fastball that tops out at 97 mph. He'll likely get picked this summer in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft and also has a scholarship to play at NCAA Division I baseball power Oklahoma State.

But the future isn't as certain his senior teammates.

"I feel like me and Seth (Dankenbring) and the other guys are lucky to be able to play at the next level," senior Max Chapman, who also will play college baseball next season, said. "But I can't help feeling sorry for the seniors that aren't guaranteed anything."

For high-level players, who already have scholarship offers, playing their senior season isn't necessary to ensure a future playing baseball in college, but it was going to be last to shine for others.

"That's hard to quantify," Driskell said. "I think that there's a level for a lot of these guys that they certainly would have been able to increase their stock."

Of course, for seniors, the potential premature end to their seasons transcends the baseball field.

"We didn't know; it could be our last day of school," Dankenbring, a senior second baseman, said. "As much as school is tough and we don't like going to school every morning, but we kind of want to know when the end is the end."

As of Wednesday, MSHSAA was still moving forward with spring state championships planning, but even if there are some spring sports it will have a very different look and feel than normal years.