Youth leagues facing an uncertain season

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 20 April 2020 at 9:24 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Sandstone’s Drew Pritchard makes a nifty snow cone catch during last year’s Albion Midget League championship game. The Midget League, along with other area youth leagues, are facing an uncertain season due to the coronavirus restrictions.

In a normal spring teams would already be holding practice sessions and games would be upcoming in early to mid May. However, this is anything but a normal spring.

Therefore, like their high school counterparts, area youth baseball, softball and soccer leagues have their upcoming seasons in a holding pattern due to the school closings and social distancing restrictions imposed because of the current coronavirus pandemic.

Right now Governor Cuomo’s “Pause Order” which has schools and non essential businesses closed is in effect until May 15.

“We just have to wait and see what the state and the schools decide,” said Chris Goyette of the Medina LOYAL baseball organization. “Right now nobody knows what is going to happen. We’re keeping our options open”

The Medina LOYAL baseball teams play in a combined league with the Roy-Hart, Lyndonville and Somerset teams for the regular season and playoffs.

“We’re holding out hope that when it is safe we will be able to give the kids an opportunity to play but right now it is a wait and see thing.,” added Goyette who noted that LOYAL baseball is “working hand in hand” with LOYAL soccer in planning options for the season.

The situation is the same for Albion’s six team Midget Baseball League which ironically didn’t start it’s season last year until June 1 because of a very wet spring that left fields unplayable until then.

“We were able to get our regular seasons and playoffs in and if we could start by June 13 we could do it,” said Dan Bartlett who coaches the Sandstone team. “Right now we just don’t know what will happen but we don’t want to give up on it yet. We just hope to be able to give the kids some kind of a an opportunity to play some kind of a season. It all depends on what the decision is for after May 15.”

Just as the case with Medina LOYAL baseball, Bartlett notes that the Midget League is working with the Albion T-Ball, Coach-Pitch and softball leagues in planning options for the season.

The Rochester District Youth Soccer League (which includes teams from Albion, Lyndonville, Holley and Kendall) and the Buffalo and WNY Youth Soccer League (which includes teams from Medina and Roy-Hart) are likewise looking at options for the season.

Both leagues usually start in May but have pushed the start date back into June.

Depending on when schools reopen and group gathering restrictions are eased, the Rochester League is targeting a six game season beginning June 15. The Buffalo League is looking to either an eight game season beginning June 1 or a six game season beginning June 15 depending on when schools reopen and the restrictions are eased.