Lizana Ball Fields Need Post-Katrina Help To Start Season

They've got the bats, the balls and the gloves.

But more than 100 Harrison County children may not have very much playing time this year.

Baseball and softball games for the Lizana Youth Association are set to start the first week of April.

Organizers, however, say hurricane damage to the Lizana ball fields has put the success of the season in jeopardy.

Practicing two to three times a week helped Lane Perkins hit 19 home runs last season.

The eight year old believes a shorter practice schedule would hurt his game.

"You wouldn't be that good. You wouldn't be able to hit the ball that much and stuff," said Perkins.

There are roughly 150 t-ball, softball and baseball players in the Lizana Youth Association.

The girls and boys range from four year olds to teenagers.

Organizers say good hearted volunteers have paid for some of the hurricane damage to the ball fields, but the broken lights are still a problem.

"Cause without the lights we can only practice roughly an hour after school and with softball and baseball, the kids we have registered. There is not enough time to do it in the day light hours," said coach Jarrod Cuevas

With so many children and no lights, coaches say teams will be lucky to work on their skills once a week.

The players would also have to travel for most of their games to face opponents who get more practice time than they do.

"An opportunity to get better. That's what we strive for. We strive to get these kids a lot better up here. We spend a whole lot of time up here as board members and as coaches. It takes a lot of time but it's worth it to us," said Lane Perkins' father Clint.

The volunteers say the reason they're pushing so hard to make softball and baseball a success is that because of hurricane Katrina, they had to cancel basketball and football this year and they don't want to see the children disappointed yet again.

"It lets them burn a lot of energy to have around the house. It keeps them active. It keeps them off the computers and if front of the t.v. It gives them something to do," said Cuevas.

There is other damage to the Lizana ball fields including downed fences and scoreboards, but organizers say they can get by pretty well as long as they have the lights fixed.

If you would like to help call 228-539-3425.