• 57°

PYAA ready for spring opening day

Softball players across the county will finally have their first game March. 6 with the Picayune Youth Athletic Association set to have its Opening Day games for the spring softball season. Registration began in January for interested parties and teams were then drafted in the second week of February.

Practices were then put on hold as inclement weather forced the league to cancel nearly two weeks’ worth of practices.

The athletes have been out getting reps in for a couple weeks now and are now set to participate in competitive games.

PYAA Softball President Jeremy Guidry said there are approximately 25 fewer players this season than in past years, with COVID-19 likely playing a role in that.

There are 14 teams this year with players ranging from 4-years-old to 16-years-old.

Guidry said the plan is for regular games to continue through April while leaving the last week of April open for any necessary make up games. Due to the removal of some COVID-19 restrictions by Gov. Tate Reeves, the league will be moving all of the bleachers back into place for fans this season.

Previously the bleachers had been removed to prevent people from sitting in close proximity to each other while promoting social distancing.

Guidry said social distancing will still be encouraged, but attendees will be able to sit on bleachers instead of having to bring their own lawn chairs for games.

The organization has been doing everything it can to get the season ready, even with the obstacles provided by COVID-19.

However, aside from fewer concession options and minor delays, it’s been business as usual.

At the end of the day, Guidry and all of the volunteers who make the season possible just want to see the community’s children have fun and improve their softball skills in an upbeat environment. “I want everybody to have improved with their softball from the first practice to the last game I want everybody to say, ‘I’m better than I was when I started.’ And that’s the ultimate goal. We’re there because the girls want to play softball and we hope to do that in a safe, peaceful place where everybody has fun, shakes hands and goes home,” Guidry said.