YORKTOWN, Va. - Because of the coronavirus pandemic, children have spent months waiting for their favorite sports to resume and on Monday York County Little League kicks off its season with plenty of caution.
Caution isn't just the word on the tape that separates the players' dugouts from the stands.
In York County Little League's return to play, plenty of safety measures are put into place, ensuring each team that follows the CDC guidelines fro youth programs and camps during the pandemic.
The league is covering all its bases, requiring players and volunteers to compete a wellness check survey, providing hand sanitizer, and encouraging social distancing on the field and in the dugout.
The players' spot of focus is no longer just the sweet spot on the bat, but also their assigned spot on the bench, which now extends to the bleacher seats to ensure there's enough distance between athletes.
"We spent night after night board meetings on the computer talking to each other," York County Little League president Chase Emerson said. "Between us and York County, I think we came up with a plenty good game plan."
Now that the countdown to the league's return is over, players and coaches alike use the same word to describe their feeling about being back.
"Really excited," Freedom Fighters player Tahlia said.
"Yeah same, I’m really excited," Freedom Fighters' Miah added.
"We’ve got a lot of kids that are really excited. They've been talking about it nonstop for the last three weeks," York County Little League vice president of baseball Thomas Evans said.
"I don’t know who’s more excited, if the kids are more excited or the parents are to be back on the field," Emerson said. "Either way, everyone’s really excited to be back out."
The league is part of a district that contains seven different little leagues. Because of the pandemic, all but two shut down for the season. York County welcomed other leagues' players with open arms.
"We’ve got kids from Poquoson, from Warwick Little League, Deer Park Little League, they’re all taking part," Evans said. "We’re happy to have them and we’re glad that the county opened their arms to those players and leagues that ended up not staying open."
York County Little League steps up to the plate by becoming home to many players as they restart the season while erring on the side of caution.