MERIDEN — I’d rather be fishing: It’s a sentiment shared by many outdoor enthusiasts, and Wilcox Tech baseball coach Dave Cronin is no exception.
Cronin has headed the Wilcox Tech baseball program since 2006. He’s had more than his share of wins. He’s had more good days than bad.
All the same, there were some days he would rather have been fishing.
With schools closed and scholastic sports indefinitely suspended due to the coronavirus, Cronin has had more time by the water this spring. And yet the time away from the diamond has made him realize how much he misses baseball.
“The time away gives me time to go fishing,” Cronin said. “Being away from the baseball field really puts things into perspective. All coaches have good games and bad games, and good practices and bad practices that just don’t work out and I wish I was fishing. But now that I’m fishing, I wish I was coaching baseball.”
Cronin said he misses coaching his players and hopes to be back with them as soon as possible.
“I think we all miss it,” Cronin said. “High school sports are a part of the fabric of the community. People stop in and watch a game or read about it in the paper. It’s something that we are all comfortable with, and now it’s just gone.”
Cronin said he’s sent a few messages to his players to stay safe and just use common sense during the pandemic.
“You look forward to the season and it’s not there,” Cronin said. “We are all just missing it. We were looking forward to this season and adding a bunch of new guys to the program.”
James Theriault, a three-year veteran, projects as the lone senior starter this spring. On top of that, the Tribe returns only a couple of juniors.
“I understand why we aren’t playing,” Theriault said. “I wish I could play in my last year. I thought we had a good team. We had fewer pitchers, but there is still a chance. With Coach Cronin and his workouts, we will have the team together in no time, if we had to. I’d be happy if we just played one game.”
Cronin said he was looking at a good influx of young talent that he wanted to get acclimated to his program.
“We wanted to get them ready and, if we miss the whole season, we will miss a whole season for those freshmen and sophomores of learning our style of baseball,” Cronin said.
For now, the veteran coach will have to keep his fungo bat in dry dock. With his rod and reel, though, his hands won’t be completely idle.