TODAY, the Exeter High softball team would have been five games into a 18-game regular season.
The Boston College baseball team would have been playing at Georgia Tech. It would have been the 45th game of the Eagles’ 54-game regular-season schedule.
The Phillips Exeter Academy baseball team would have been about halfway through a 24-game schedule.
Yes, the coronavirus pandemic is forcing the Morissette family of Exeter to miss more games than your average sports family.
But they’re not missing all games. “We’re playing a lot of Yahtzee and Cornhole,” Kristen Morissette said with a chuckle.
Softball, baseball and even basketball, though, will have to wait. Specifically, that’s softball for mom/coach Kristen’s defending Division I state champion Exeter High Blue Hawks, baseball for elder son Cody’s BC Eagles, and two sports for younger son Josh, who after finishing the basketball season with Phillips Exeter was going to play baseball for PEA while continuing with AAU basketball.
And dad Dave would have embraced his usual role as super spectator for all those teams.
Talk about a lifestyle change. The Morissettes went from an active schedule featuring in-person classes and sports every day and scrambling for reheated meals on the run, to a far-less social schedule of online learning and no sports.
But there is some quality family time spent together at the dinner table — a pandemic byproduct they’re embracing, Kristen said.
“But don’t get me wrong,” she said. “We’ll all be ready to get back on the field/court and get back to the busy sports lifestyle!”
Kristen’s Blue Hawks would have been very good again. A junior-heavy team won the state title last season and that class would have been determined to lead a repeat. “We’d still have another month and a half to go in the season,” she said. “It’s mind-boggling.”
Cody’s BC Eagles had played 15 games — they were 6-9 — before the cancellations struck. He was on fire at the plate: a .448 batting average, two homers, 11 runs batted in and a .655 slugging percentage.
In the Eagles’ final game, a win over Holy Cross, Cody, a sophomore infielder, became the fastest player in BC baseball history to collect his 100th hit.
Cody was crossing his fingers on the Cape Cod Baseball League playing this summer, but those hopes were dashed on Friday. He was scheduled to return to the Bourne Braves before the news broke.
He does see his BC teammates and coaches on Zoom every day, and that’s OK, says his mom. “But it’s not the same,” Kristen said.
And that goes for the whole family.
Notes from the rinks
University of Denver forward Tyler Ward reportedly will transfer to UNH, a nice surprise for the offense-challenged Wildcats. The 5-10, 180-pound Ward, who is from British Columbia — traditionally fertile ground for UNH recruiting — scored 10 goals and added nine assists in his just-completed sophomore season with the Pioneers. (The Pios likely would have made hay in the NCHC and NCAA tournaments before the pandemic hit.)
When Ward will wear the blue and white is up in the air. The NCAA next month is expected to address a measure to allow first-time transfers the chance to be immediately eligible rather than having to sit out a season. ...
Brentwood’s Spenser Young, who had a solid four-year career on defense at Providence College, signed an AHL contract with the Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville Predators) on April 16. ...
Did that notion of the NHL playing neutral site games in Manchester ever have a chance? Not sure, but we did get a chuckle out of some U.S. media referring to our downtown arena as “the home of Southern New Hampshire University” and other scribblings that wondered if the NHLPA would be OK with games played in a “rural” area. ...
The names of possible successors to Bob Gaudet at Dartmouth are already out there. Former Big Green player and Pittsburgh Penguins Stanley Cup champ Ben Lovejoy, of Canaan, is one of them. Lovejoy served as a volunteer assistant for Gaudet this past winter.
To say that Gaudet will leave behind a legacy is an understatement. The man personified Dartmouth hockey, first as a star goalie, then, after serving an eight-year apprenticeship at Brown, became the winningest coach in his alma mater’s hockey history. Heck, he was a Dartmouth parent, too, coaching his two sons along the way.
Check out Jim Connelly’s extensive interview with Gaudet on uscho.com. It tells the story of a class act.