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Stepping up to the plate

Jordyn Reed
Updated: August 09, 2020 10:50 PM
Created: August 09, 2020 09:11 PM

(ABC 6 News) – There’s no denying it has been a tough year. Especially when it comes to athletics.

It has also been a particularly hard summer for the Rochester Honkers. When the team found out they were going to have a season, it was go-time for the host family coordinator Dan Cansino. However, the fun and exciting matching process became chaotic due to the pandemic.

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"The Northwoods League increased the roster and unfortunately here in Rochester we didn't have the host family support to really be able to utilize that roster increase,” Dan said.

Players and host families opted out of the season, but somehow Dan and the team made it work the best they could. It was in large part to the other families, 14 of whom, stepped up to the plate during this bizarre summer.

"We have one family that has four players this year…un-heard of!,” Dan said. “I can't thank these families enough for just really stepping up, sacrificing and opening up their homes to these young men amongst all these concerns that people have with the pandemic."

That’s where the Boyd family enters the picture. Justin, Brynn, Claire, Dusty, and Kate are hosting for their fourth summer.

"There were a lot of people that were nervous about it and that we could just support the team in whatever way we can like we have,” Brynn Boyd said. “And knowing that there were guys that are still excited about baseball that are still trying to further their career and we wanted to be a part of that."

It may be their fourth summer hosting but it’s the first time the family has taken in two players. This year, welcoming Robert Moore and Connor Denning.

"I don't know if I was nervous of living with them. I was nervous they were going to be nervous living with me,” Moore said. “They made us feel like we were at home.”

Denning also said that the family was very open and welcoming to him when he showed up in Rochester for the season.

It is an unusual summer, but it has been filled with building relationships on and off the field.

"It was fun living with a family with three kids and just getting to see how much energy they have day in and day out,” Denning said.

The kids each have their favorite activity with the guys. For the youngest, Kate, it’s playing Barbie’s.

“[We] Play a lot of wiffle ball with them,” Moore said. “Play a lot of little games, play Barbie's a lot, trains and tracks, make bracelets. I mean a bunch of stuff I haven't done in 10/12 years I was doing all over again. It's been a blast."


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