BISMARCK, N.D. - Skyler Strand is a high school senior who plays baseball for Bismarck High. Strand plans to help seniors have one more memory on the diamond after missing the spring season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The crack of the bat is a sound heard all around North Dakota this time of year but last week's cancellation of spring sports brought the end of that thought, but Strand had a different idea.
"When they announced Friday that they were canceling spring sports I had kind of accepted the fact that we weren't going to be playing high school season and that was that. Then my mom, she pushed me to do something and put a little sandlot league together. At that point in time we were expecting just some kids from Bismarck and some kids from Mandan to join and she made a flier put my name and number on it and from there it just took off," said Strand.
Taking off in a way that BHS senior didn't quite see.
"Had to charge my phone a few extra times. It even went out to Fargo. We had a guy from there want to come and livestream the games. We've gotten responses from Steele, Carrington, and Mohall even said they want to send a couple of guys. It has been awesome and it is great to see that kids want to get out because we have been sitting around for like we said the past two months it is time to get out," said Strand.
So with just north of 60 players saying they are interested, Strand went to work securing the fields.
"I actually coach a baseball team for Bismarck Parks and Rec. I coach the 15 year old All Stars in the summer. So, my boss called me the other day he said he had the full support just let them know when we want the fields so they were actually very supportive of it," said Strand.
Many people are probably wondering how a baseball tournament could follow social guidelines it's a question he asked as well.
"Right now the general rule of thumb will be come for your teams games. I want people to know we are still gonna follow the guidelines and we are doing everything we can and we will have sanitizer and wipes available. So we want everyone to be smart but we want to have some fun at the same time," said Strand.
So while there maybe no official high school baseball played in North Dakota this season but there still maybe this, the sound of bat, in North Dakota this year. They going to play the Sandlot baseball tournament on May 15 and 16 at the Tatley-Eagles Diamonds in Bismarck.