Families, friends, and all other types of baseball fans turned out in force Friday night to celebrate the high achievements this season for the Hermann High School baseball team.
It took but little time for supporters to organize a celebration that centered around the sports fields, with the fans encouraged to drive by and honk their horns in observance of the team's winning season. Even the Hermann Volunteer Fire Department and Hermann Police Department got in on the act. The special celebration was caused by two factors: the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused the cancellation of school for the remainder of the year; and the restrictions that keep crowds from gathering due to the coronavirus.
"Most of it was through Facebook," said Head Baseball Coach Wally McKague of the plans, who said he discovered that other schools across the nation were assembling similar celebrations.
The Facebook notification occurred Friday, and that's really all it took to draw everyone out to the field for the special honors. McKague preceded their arrival by turning on the field lights.
He estimated that anywhere from 50 to 100 vehicles showed up for the quickly conceived party.
Despite the turnout, McKague is solemn when considering what the team could have achieved had the season been allowed to continue, free of the invisible disease.
"This is one of the best teams Hermann has had," he said, adding the players were easily capable of challenging the area's top teams for the district and eventually state titles. "I've had these kids since they were three- and four-year-olds….We were pretty solid down the lineup."
Looking ahead, McKague said he's optimistic there's going to be a good nucleus for Hermann when it takes to the diamond next season. But challenges still await, due to the graduation of seniors.
"We're still going to have some good solid players," he said. "We're going to have a good group. (But) there's going to be some holes to fill."