MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Friday was supposed to be Opening Day for Tigers baseball.
Head coach Daron Schoenrock would finally be back in the dugout with his team. Instead, he spent the week digging out from the latest winter storm.
"The toughest thing I've done the last few days is shovel snow off my driveway," he said with a laugh.
Clearing off FedEx Park will be a larger undertaking. The snow canceled the team's weekend series against Northern Illinois.
So the U of M will have to wait a little longer to get back on the field after COVID-19 canceled most of the 2020 season.
"It was obviously something that we never experienced before," Senior infielder Ben Brooks said. "You really don't know how to handle it, of course, but it was also that sense of, you can't do anything about it, so just keep moving on."
They move on to a new year that features high-profile non-conference matchups with Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Arkansas and Baylor.
The Tigers enter with a renewed appreciation for the sport, and how easily it can be taken away.
"It changed the thought process of the guys," Schoenrock said. "I sensed a little more valuing and cherishing every day this Fall."
The Tigers last positive test came before Christmas, according to Schoenrock. But the team knows that can change at any time.
"We don't take things for granted anymore," Brooks said. "With the amount of COVID protocols that are out there, we don't know when we're going to get shut down, when is the last thing here or there, so really just not taking it for granted and cherishing every moment we get."
Schoenrock said he is adding a game to the schedule, playing Lipscomb Tuesday at Millington Stadium, while FedEx Park thaws out.