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story.lead_photo.caption Democrat photo/Kevin LabotkaRussellville Indians baseball players practice on March 11. Schools around Mid-Missouri — including Russellville, Jamestown and California — made the difficult decision to cancel classes and after school activities last week, including athletics, in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, Jamestown and Russellville made announcements canceling after school activities including sports for the rest of March.

On top of athletic cancellations, last week both districts joined schools statewide in closing their doors altogether for the immediate future. The Jamestown C-1 School District and Cole R-1 School District announced all after school activities are canceled during both districts' school closures from last week until April 3, including baseball and track. Similar to other area schools, such as California and schools in nearby Jefferson City, both districts anticipate reopening April 6 at the earliest.

Jamestown Athletic Director E.H. Hirschvogel said none of the school's sports have been canceled entirely at this point.

"There is still hope that our baseball and track teams will have a chance to compete and participate in district competitions," Hirschvogel said. "If and when school resumes, all athletic practices will be allowed to happen."

Hirschvogel said Jamestown's spring sports coaches, while disappointed, were understanding of the need for such a decision to be made, considering the unfortunate circumstances.

"All of our coaches at Jamestown understood the decisions that were made, and acted very professionally to the news," Hirschvogel said. "I'd be lying if I said that they weren't disappointed, because they were. They were mostly disappointed for their student-athletes that are going to lose part — potentially all — of their seasons, and especially the seniors that have spent years leading up to these final games. I, along with my coaches, truly hope students are able to safely return to school as soon as possible, and that they get the chance to compete."

Russellville Athletic Director Lucas Branson said more information would be provided in the first week of April if further activity suspension is necessary. Branson said the school will have further discussion about the future of spring sports soon.

"There will be discussions in the near future as to what steps we can take," Branson said. "I think at this point, (it) is probably too early to speculate on when we will be able to return to practices or events. We will take guidance from all involved and make sure the health of all is the priority."

Branson, who is also the baseball head coach for Russellville, said the spring sports coaches understand the importance of the health and safety of their athletes.

"We are disappointed not being able to coach our players but understand the safety and health of all is more important right now," Branson said. "All of the coaches are in contact with our teams daily giving them encouragement and individual drills they can work on while at home and away from school."

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