High school baseball has returned to the diamonds of central Minnesota after having the entire 2020 season canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among those excited to be back is Cathedral's Bob Karn, who is in the midst of his 52nd season as the coach of the Crusaders.

"It feels so good... baseball fields are like green cathedrals," Karn said. "You feel finally like you are back where you belong when you are on a baseball field."

For the first time in over 50 years, Karn did not sit in the dugout for a baseball season. He says he missed being around his players more than the game itself.

"It was really difficult, not necessarily the coaching part, but not being around high school aged players," Karn said. "Coaching and being on the field helps me keep the youth alive and we can remember when we played ball when we were ten years old."

The Crusaders this year are a mixture of younger players who might need a little extra instruction and more veteran players who can be coached more strategically.

"Last year, the teaching part didn't exist, so I am trying to learn to listen to each individual so they can tell me what they think are their strengths and weaknesses," Karn said. "I need to find out a lot about not only their physical skills but also about their passion and energy for the game of baseball."

The Crusaders will host Zimmerman at Joe Faber Field Thursday night at 7 p.m.

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