So much hope, so much promise for Skip Johnson’s 2020 sooners. Canceled because of COVID-19.
OU Baseball Coach Skip Johnson said, “That was difficult because some of those kids didn’t know if they were going to get their year back, they didn’t know anything. It was pretty devastating to feel that. It’s almost like “hey man your dog died.” We deal with failure all the time with baseball. We talk about how we’re going to overcome instead of how we’re going to worry about the failure of it.”
But there was very little failure from the Sooners this season. They didn’t lose a series, finished with a top 15 ranking in every major national poll, and had skyrocketing expectations in the college world series, but for Johnson, he won’t look back on this team and think what if?
Johnson said, “We practiced to win the last game of the season. I ‘m never really a guy that goes what if? I mean I try to live in the present because I don’t have expectations. I learned that from one of the best baseball coaches ever, Augie Garrido. You can’t have expectations of kids because you’re dealing with amateurs.”
With the NCAA voting to give players an extra year of eligibility, the Sooners got a big boost when all seven of their seniors announced they’re returning plus they won’t count against the teams scholarship numbers next season either, but there’s still an issue. The MLB draft. It’s unknown when it will happen and how many rounds it’ll be which could totally change look of the team next spring.
Johnson said, “We gotta have a plan A and a plan B because if the draft goes 1-5 rounds, we could lose four, if it goes 1-10 we could lose 15. It’s difficult and you really have to make sure you maneuver through that and try to come up with the right decision with what’s best for the University of Oklahoma.”
But as Johnson looks back on the 22 game season that was, he says he’ll remember the relationships with his guys, but his favorite moment was a no brainer…
It was Dane Acker’s no hitter against LSU in Houston. Johnson said, “That was the moment to be with them in that dugout, right at the end, to say man we all accomplished this deal and that was pretty awesome.”
And while Johnson would rather be on the diamond, he has found a few positives about the extra time on his hands. Including how he’ll be handling the quarantine going forward.
Johnson said, “I’m a country guy anyway. Maybe the first time I’ve ever got to turkey hunt. We’re gonna shoot some turkey’s I can tell you that. I am going to do a little bit of fishing, bass fishing, croppy fishing. The biggest thing is everybody staying healthy.”