Season with high expectations shut down for Riverheads baseball

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STAUNTON, Va. -- COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of the VHSL spring sports season, which was expected to be a successful one for multiple teams in the Valley including Riverheads baseball.

COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of the VHSL spring sports season, which was expected to be a successful one for multiple teams in the Valley including Riverheads baseball.

The Gladiators were considered to be a state title contender in Class 1 in 2020. Riverheads won the Class 1 state title in 2018 and advanced to the state semifinals in 2019. Multiple players from those teams were back and expected to be important contributors this spring.

"We thought this team could be pretty special," said Riverheads senior infielder Grant Painter. "So it's disappointing that we can't go out there and see what we can do."

For Painter, 2020 was supposed to be his final season playing high school baseball. He and his Riverheads teammate Braeson Fulton have signed to play college baseball at James Madison University.

For Painter, Fulton, Riverheads, and all other spring sports student-athletes the possibility of winning a VHSL state title in 2020 is gone. However, there is still hope they could compete with their high school teams. The VHSL is exploring the possibility of having some sort of competition in the summer but a final decision won't be made until May.

"We're all staying game-ready and we are still working," said Fulton. "And it's not over until they tell us it's over."