After A Year Off: Vancleave youth baseball kicks off with open day ceremony

After A Year Off: Vancleave youth baseball kicks off with open day ceremony

VANCLEAVE, Miss. (WLOX) - After a year into the pandemic, many are eager to get back to their everyday lives. On Saturday, many were able to do that at the Vancleave Complex.

Family and friends cheered as little league players took the field, running bases in full speed. Parents and most definitely players were happy to be reunited with Vancleave Youth Baseball.

“We’ve missed baseball a lot,” said little league player, Randin Craig.

The effort at bat showed just how much the players missed baseball.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve played but we have to get back in our game,” said little league player, Reece Thomason.

Although the season was cut short last year due to COVID-19, some parents said they used the down time to practice. The little ones were able to show off all their skills they learned at home on the field.

“We got a team together that we felt was all-star type material, since we didn’t finish out the season last year and we went to an all-star tournament in Petal, MS,” said baseball mom Krisiti Naples. “We played there and we also did some travel ball during the summer.”

“Practicing, pitching, hitting, just fundamentals is what we’ve been working on,” said Thomason.

Parents said they felt a sense of normalcy seeing their children out on the field and they were happy to see the boys put down their devices and get active.

”You get a thrill letting them run and play and not have to be held up watching video games and inside,” said baseball mom Staci Harper. “So, it’s great to be outside watching these little boys.”

Also, those who teach the game were not forgotten. Coaches said the off season added a little extra work to their plates, but parents said they couldn’t be more thankful for their dedication.

“It’s so great that they take their time out to come out here with the kids,” Pam Rainey said. “Because they work full time jobs and they’re out here helping the kids, loving it and the patience they have to teach them what they need to.”

“Just get back out here and try to get them back to normal and get them together having fun and work around the weather really,” said one coach and dad, Josh Harriman.

With the opening ceremony now over, it will be strictly business for those baseball teams as they prepare to take on their games.

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