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McClatchy High baseball season at-risk due to teacher strike

Sacramento's C.K. McClatchy baseball team found ways to still practice, despite an ongoing teacher strike.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The McClatchy High School baseball team just wants to get back to doing what they do best.

With the ongoing Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) teacher strike, it goes without saying the strike has impacted thousands of students. However, there another group who’s anxious for this situation to be resolved, athletes and coaches.

For a week now, the McClatchy High Lions haven’t had an official practice with their coaches due to the strike, but they have found ways to still get together.

"We have a team group chat," said senior captain Malcolm Moore. "Me and the other captain on the team, Gabe Henderson, will text the guys, and we'll get the group down here."

On Tuesday, they decided to practice at Wheelhouse batting cages. The coaches were present, but they’re not allowed to supervise, instruct or coach as long as the strike is in effect. 

"It's been very difficult. It's been a challenge to say the least," said head coach Michael de Necochea. "All I can do is communicate with the boys over the phone (or) text messages. I'm immensely proud of them. I really am. I feel horrible for the situation I'm in with them. I'm just so proud of the effort they give and the commitment to keep playing and practicing on their own."

The strike could not have come at a worse time for the Lions, who are currently undefeated, and one of the top ranked teams in the section.

"Just our hard work, determination, and group chemistry has been real solid for us," said senior captain Gabe Henderson. 

The Lions also have one of the best players in the nation, in senior catcher Malcolm Moore, who’s already committed to Stanford, but could also be a first-round draft pick this summer.

"I know I'm not at the top yet but knowing that I'm close, that keeps me grinding everyday," Moore said. "I want to be that top guy, so I'm out here every day."

Aside from this team excelling on the field, they also have nine players who have a 4.0 GPA or higher. The teacher strike doesn't just impact these players on the field but in the classroom as well. 

"We have so much testing coming up," said junior pitcher Eli Aten. "For me, I have a few AP (Advanced Placement) tests as well as the California testing, as well as finals that are coming up in a month. It's difficult. (The strike) is affecting our whole entire schedule."

Coach de Necochea just wants the opportunity for his team to have a full season. In meantime, the players say they will continue to get together and practice until the strike is over.


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