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Buddy Ball back in action after last year’s cancellation

Buddy Ball was one of many events cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year has seen a return to normalcy with the season now halfway done.

There are over 70 athletes in the league who are split into two age groups, 5-18 and 18 and up.

Trevor Adam, Corey Dorn, Christie Dorn and a plethora of volunteers make the league possible, and they’re happy for it to be back at it.

As case numbers dropped, more and more of the athletes with disabilities who take part in the league went back into working environments.

After much discussion, Adam and the organization made the decision to have a 2021 season, much to the joy of the athletes.

“We had seen a lot of athletes working throughout the community in different locations and their biggest thing was always, ‘Coach when are we playing?’ They’ll track down anybody involved they were just so excited,” Adam said.

Having the season again meant going back to a familiar routine in an unfamiliar time.

For Adam, the volunteers and the athletes, putting on Buddy Ball meant a part of the community was restored.

“Last year felt like a piece of us was missing because we’ve grown accustomed to it. The smiles and delight you get from them each week, being out there and playing, they’re so excited to get the opportunity to get to play. Not being able to play, not being able to see them, it was sad for us because it’s something we look forward to each year,” Adam said.

The impact of the league stretches across the local community as athletes from all over are able to come and join in on the fun.

“It’s really a good thing for us and a great thing for this city. It’s something we offer that not many people offer. It serves a tremendous purpose for Picayune and Pearl River County. Hopefully we just continue to grow and everything stays as wonderful an atmosphere as it is,” Adam said.

Games are on Friday nights at 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. and new athletes and volunteers are always welcome.

The league provides an opportunity for exercise, socialization and fun that can’t be replicated.

“It’s on both of our parts because you love their personalities and their happiness is infectious. When they see you it’s like a kid on Christmas. The pure joy of being out there, we’re not taking for granted at all,” Adam said.

For more information go to the Picayune Buddy Ball page on Facebook.