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PYAA baseball’s spring season comes to an end

The Picayune Youth Athletic Association’s spring baseball season ended this past week following the completion of the league’s end of season tournament.

Approximately 280 athletes took part in the league and were spread out across five age groups.

President Ronnie Reynolds said the only hindrance this past season was the Mississippi rain as severe weather drenched the county on multiple occasions over the past couple of weeks.

“We had plenty of rainouts, but it actually turned out to be a great season. We had no COVID-19 related issues compared to last year,” Reynolds said.

The pandemic made planning and executing the season more difficult, but as case numbers have gone down the tight restrictions implemented by PYAA began to relax.

“Compared to last year where we had to split everybody up in the dugout, this year was totally different. Everybody stayed in the dugout. We didn’t have any kids or parents that had any time away due to COVID. We were shocked. It was actually better than it was last year. Everybody got together, mixed and mingled with no issues,” Reynolds said.

The routine aspects of baseball altered during the pandemic went back to their original ways.

Playing America’s pastime without restrictions gave everyone a hope that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

“We needed this so we could all get back to our normal life compared to last year. Everybody was looking forward to it and just giving the kids something to do. Last year we had over 30 athletes that did not come back because they were scared of the pandemic, but this year it was nothing like that. It was pure joy for everyone to get back out there,” Reynolds said.

As a sense of normalcy begins to return, the organization will have a bit of a break before starting back up again.

Winter ball won’t take place for another several months as the organization hopes for some field improvements during the summer and fall.

“We’ll take the fall off because usually the fall involves soccer and we have a big football league, then they go into basketball. Usually we don’t have enough kids to do fall ball and we’ll take this time to start working on the fields and getting them ready for the turf coming in. Then we’ll start back in December or January and start signing up again and we anticipate having a bigger league,” Reynolds said.