Canton Eagles Baseball Prepares for Playoffs in the Midst of Tornado Devastation

“A lot of devastation, everything is gone,” said Canton sophomore catcher McGwire Martin. “It’s bad. About a half a mile from my house, it’s just gone.”

“We could hear the tornado,” said sophomore Johnnie Krawietz. “We got down in our shelter and just heard it.”

As homes and lives begin to be rebuilt in the community of Canton, the district champion Canton High School baseball team is balancing difficult circumstances at home, while preparing for the biggest game of the year – a playoff game on the road Friday night.

“I think it can help a lot, to take everyone’s mind off of it, to just get to watch baseball and hopefully get a win,” said sophomore pitcher Johnnie Krawietz.

And winning is something the Eagles have done a lot this season.

“We’re on a fifteen-game winning streak and went undefeated in district,” said Canton baseball coach Jeff Priest.

Just two weeks away from retirement after 27 years coaching and teaching, Jeff Priest spent Monday morning cleaning up debris Saturday night’s tornado left scattered on the baseball diamond at Canton High.

“There are so many people in the community that I’ve seen who have been working,” Priest said. “A lot of players have too. It’s been a group effort, and that’s something you’ve got to be proud of to kind of pitch in to do that.”

And now he hopes his team pitches in on-the-field Friday night… trying to provide a reminder to the community of Canton – things will be rebuilt… and there are brighter days ahead.

“I hope it can,” Priest said. “There are a lot in the community that back our team, and that will help a lot. But this deal is not going to be a quick fix. It’s going to be even longer than that for several of those involved.”

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