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Palm Coast Thursday, Jun. 4, 2020 1 month ago

Play ball! Palm Coast Little League plans a shortened summer season

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League officials worked with the city of Palm Coast to create a plan to safely reopen.
by: Brian McMillan Executive Editor

Time to dust off the cleats and buy some sunflower seeds.

With additional health precautions, Palm Coast Little League will begin a special summer season as soon as teams can reassemble, with Indian Trails Sports Complex and other parks reopening in Palm Coast on June 6.

“For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been reaching out to coaches and parents to find out who’s interested,” PCLL President Peter Schoembs said. “Over 80% of the kids wanted to come back, which I’m really thrilled with. When you get that kind of response, you’ve got to do everything possible to do something in the summer for these kids.”

About 550 players on 48 teams, ranging from T-ball to 16-year-old baseball and softball players, began the 20th PCLL season with an opening day ceremony on Feb. 29, but the season ended soon thereafter due to the pandemic. The season was scheduled to run through May 31, but it was canceled.

William Warren, vice president of softball with PCLL, said the summer season will likely feature about 30 teams. Some of the original teams had to be dissolved due to lack of participation, mostly because of family vacations.

After a week or two of practices, the season will have at least six games, possibly eight or more. Register is now open at pcllonline.com for $30.

"When you get that kind of response, you’ve got to do everything possible to do something in the summer for these kids.”

PETER SCHOEMBS, Palm Coast Little League president

“Everyone’s been cooped up for a month or two, and they want to get out and do something,” Warren said. “We’ll give them something to do other than sit and watch the TV all day.”

 

All-star schedule

There will be no Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, this year, Schoembs said, but there will be an All-Star tournament at the district, section and state levels.

The state organization should have more details in a couple of weeks, but the tentative plan is to begin All-Star games in August.

 

Precautions

When Little League indicated in mid-May that play could occur in 2020 after all, the PCLL leadership communicated with the city of Palm Coast to begin working on a plan to safely resume.

“The city took a cautious approach, and I don’t blame them,” Schoembs said. “They asked us a while back to submit a proposal, with measures we were going to put in place, and they were thrilled with it. Thankfully, the city realized it’s time to get these kids out there. I couldn’t be happier.”

City Manager Matt Morton, during a June 3 Virtual Town Hall,  addressed the reopening of parks, saying that some of the precautions will hopefully be seen as a new part of life, similar to wearing a helmet.

“We take that next evolution, and we apply that to, How we can we reopen safely?” Morton said. He praised PCLL for taking a cautious approach. Royal Palms Soccer and PAL Soccer have also submitted plans for resuming their leagues, including adjustments to lawn mowing, bathroom maintenance and trash disposal.

“We continue to methodically move our way forward … to get back to business,” Morton said.

 

Brian McMillan has been editor of the Palm Coast Observer since it began in 2010. He was named the Journalist of the Year for weekly newspapers in North America by the Local Media Association in 2012. He lives in Palm Coast with his wife and five children. Email...

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