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PYAA softball sees end of successful spring season

The Picayune Youth Athletic Association’s softball season ended earlier this month after having to schedule makeup games due to severe weather.

President Jeremy Guidry said the season was one of the most successful iterations he’s been a part of seeing as 185 athletes showed up for the season to create 14 teams across four age groups.

“I’ve been involved with it for the last five years, this is my second year being president, and this was by far the best year we’ve ever had. Everything ran smoothly. We dealt with a lot of rain, but we were able to make all that up and everybody was able to get their games in,” Guidry said.

Starting the season in the middle of a pandemic presented a plethora of challenges for PYAA, but it was nothing the organization couldn’t handle.

“We didn’t have to cancel any games because of COVID-19. We didn’t have any setbacks. We had some trouble finding stuff for our concession stand because of COVID-19, but we were able to get replacements or a different brand, and if we can keep going like this every year I think we’re going to be ok,” Guidry said.

The outside circumstances were unusual, but at the end of the day it was the same league and same sport the organization members love.

Guidry said even against the backdrop of a pandemic, the majority of members were just happy to be back outside and competing again.

“Mostly what I heard from people was that they were just glad to be able to get things back to a little bit of normalcy. Because the kids missed however many months of school last year, and last year I think we played during the month of May, which is way later and a whole lot hotter. Everybody was glad to get things back to normal,” Guidry said.

Now that the season has ended there will be a brief lull while other plans are made.

Guidry said there has been discussion about having camps during the summer or fall where local high school softball teams and coaches could host athletes who are interested in the sport, providing an opportunity to teach them about upper level softball.

While preparing for next season, Guidry said the organization has decided to make the registration process entirely online.

Previously, interested community members had an option to sign up in person at the Friendship Park fields, but that required the organization to be out at the fields four weekends in a row, and also made entering information difficult.

With registration all being online, parents will be able to give the organization all the necessary information without worrying about a form being lost or entered incorrectly.

“Next year, the plan is to go 100 percent online to make it easier for people. When you do physical registration we have to physically input all of their info into the computer system to get it all in the same place and ready for the draft and jerseys. For us, it’ll be much more streamlined to just get everybody to do it online,” Guidry said.