By Ray Hamill — Many local Little League parents and players were left feeling frustrated and somewhat confused after county health officials last week denied them a request to return to practice.
And they appear to have reason to feel shortchanged after the decision.
While local American Legion teams were given the go-ahead to return to practice almost two months ago, and local gyms have been gradually re-opening their doors over the last couple of weeks, along with several non-essential businesses, local Little League remains suspended.
“We tried so hard and now it seems like it’s not going to happen,” McKinleyville Little League president Rachelle Hicks said.
The McKinleyville association was not looking to play any games just yet and only wanted to hold practices for now, which would have included groups of no more than 12 players and two coaches maintaining social distances in an outdoor setting, with no parents allowed to attend.
They submitted their request as part of a day camp plan.
“I felt we had a pretty good plan based on the state guidelines for a day camp plan,” Hicks said “For me it was kind of a fool proof way to get the kids outside in an outdoor setting.”
The decision has clearly left many locals frustrated at what they see as a double-standard by county health officials, and many of them have been vocal on social media.
“We have 250 kids that come from every different kind of background and we just wanted to get them out there,” Hicks said.
“I would say (we’re) frustrated, mainly because they don’t understand how it can be done safely with all the precautions in place,” she added. “Now I think it’s to the point people are seeing on Facebook the different businesses and sports that are allowed to open and they’re getting more frustrated.”
The Mack board also submitted its plan to the Board of Supervisors, who, according to Hicks, acknowledged it.
Hicks is still hoping to have a fall season, although she says the district is hesitant right now about setting any sort of a starting date.