KINDRED, N.D. -- It was as though the first day of school was back again.

On Tuesday, the Kindred softball team took the diamond for the first time in a year to start practicing for the summer league that starts June 9th.

"It's honestly a privilege to be on dirt and have nice weather," said sophomore Matti Burchill.

"Some of them were here a half hour early, and usually they show up five minutes early," said head coach Sam Brandt.

It wasn't business as usual, however.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live

There are health and safety guidelines the Vikings and the rest of the seven teams playing in the league will have to follow.

"We have to have our own helmets and when we share equipment, we have to sanitize it down," said senior Abby McDonald. "Usually we all share stuff, but now we can't do that anymore."

Furthermore, the team will be split in both dugouts during practice to make sure that social distancing continues to happen. They have Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer in the dugouts, so every time the team enters and exits, they have to make sure to wipe everything down.

"It's a little weird, you're always used to getting dirt every where and being able to chuck it back in your bag and not think about it," Burchill said. "If it's what we have to do, it's what we have to do. "

It makes the job of coaching much broader for Brandt, having to keep her team sharp on softball skills and healthy.

"A lot of the kids kind of forget about some of those circumstance," Brandt said. "They want to be around each other, they're social people."

"It's just the reminder, those cues of, 'Hey, too close, spread out.'"

Getting the team together for the first time in June is also much later than they are used to, so the practices are ramping up quickly.

"I feel like we're behind," Brandt said.

Even with events starting late and the precautions being taken, the Vikings believe they've been afforded a second chance many others weren't, and want to take advantage of it.

"Just being out here in Kindred, just being able to field and bat with all the actual teams out here, it's just been a privilege," Burchill said.