The Southern Ohio Copperheads canceled their 2020 season for the safety of everyone during the COVID-19 pandemic {PHOTO CREDIT: Southern Ohio Copperheads}

Southern Ohio Copperheads Cancel 2020 Season

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ATHENS, Ohio — Only one word can describe the Southern Ohio Copperheads’ 2020 season being canceled: heartbreaking.

Copperheads head coach Austin Dunfee had most of his roster set.  It was a roster filled with players that didn’t get the chance to finish off their spring college baseball season.  Those players won’t get the opportunity to make memories on the ball field at Bob Wren Stadium this summer.

“It’s hard to fathom almost,” Copperheads head coach Austin Dunfee said.  “Some of the guys I told, a few guys that we had last summer, their response was just what I said.  One guy had so much fun last summer and had such a good time.  He was blowing up my phone all year long trying to get back with the Copperheads, but when I had to tell him.  We were talking via text message and you can see the heartbreak in the words he was typing.”

The Copperheads are a community owned, student operated organization, meaning the club gets sponsored by local businesses.  The Copperheads also have many student interns that were eager to get the experience with the ball club, but that experience won’t be happening the way they had hoped.

“We were really excited from a student perspective,” Copperheads Vice President Annie Valeant said.  “We have some of the most energy we’ve had ever that I’ve been around.  I’ve only been around for six years with the organization as a faculty liaison, but I would say this year tops some of the energy we had in the planning and all of the hours that went into it for the students’ perspective.”

The cancellation not only affects the Copperheads organization but the southeastern Ohio fan base that rallies around its local team, which has become a summertime tradition in Athens.

“I love the area, I love the community,” Dunfee said.  “They’ve been nothing but good to me and our team, year after year after year, whether we’re a good team or a bad team, make the playoffs, don’t make the playoffs.  They’ve always supported us no matter what.  With all this happening, it’s our turn to kind of get back to them in any way that we can.”

Even though the Copperheads and the fans won’t be seeing each other at the ballpark, the organization is still planning initiatives for the community throughout the summer.