Editorial: A baseball team's win and look ahead to fall sports

The Charleston Fighting Squirrels capped off another successful season, winning the Southern Invitational Series, in Mobile, Alabama, earlier this month.

Led by longtime coach Michael Minner, the Squirrels defeated Mid County, Texas by a score of 5-4 with former Sikeston High School player Payton Howard getting the hit to score the go-ahead run.

It's been a challenging year for sports, with high school spring sports canceled due to COVID-19 and several summer programs also nixed. But the Squirrels were able to play their summer schedule, finishing the season with a 41-5 record. That's impressive by any standard.

Up next is the fall sports season. For now, high school sports in Missouri will be played. Reporter Jeff Long recently outlined MSHSAA's COVID-19 precautions. These include:

* Required masking for athletes, coaches, officials and anyone involved in the activity. This applies to practices and games.

* Only those participating in "strenuous physical activities" may remove the face covering.

* Though not required, masks or face coverings are recommended even for those doing strenuous physical exertion, such as running.

These are prudent steps, and we encourage all the athletes and coaches to take them seriously.

Sports are an important part of the high school experience, helping many students also succeed in the classroom and other off-the-field activities. But making it through a sports season while still dealing with the pandemic will require all involved to take the necessary precautions.