Celebrating it’s the 40th year of ball gloves, baseball bats and dirt-stained uniforms, the Daviess County Playground Association is calling all little sluggers as registration begins as early as Feb. 2 for some leagues.
Summer recreation programs start at 3 years old for the West County’s T-Ball program and range to 20 years old for slow pitch softball.
According to Austin McLimore, Owensboro-Daviess County Cal Ripken League president,
Registration for Country Heights, Knottsville and Whitesville playgrounds will happen Feb. 2 and 9. For Burns, Sorgho, Southern Oaks and Stanley, registration will be held every Saturday beginning Feb. 16 to March 9.
The association, which is 100 percent volunteer driven and funded, will begin practice in April, teaching the fundamentals of baseball and beyond.
For Southern Oaks Playground President and parent, Jason Koger, it’s much more than just baseball.
“You’ve got to make time for the kids,” Koger said. “You’ll never get this time back.”
Koger also said that parents who volunteer at the ball fields sets an example for the young players.
“I think its an inspiration for them to see their parents being involved and creating lasting memories,” Koger said.
Southern Oaks Playground was established five years ago, thanks to the efforts of community volunteers.
“I remember back to when it was just a field of dirt. Now we have multiple fields, dugouts, concession stands and lighting,” Koger said, emphasizing that none of it would be possible without a community of volunteers.
Koger and McLimore have each volunteered their fair share of time, talents and resources at the ball fields.
“If each person would volunteer just one hour a week or a month…it would make a huge difference.” Koger said. “I think kids need someone to look up to. For me, I didn’t necessarily care about baseball. I wasn’t good at it growing up. I really don’t even know all the rules, but I’m out there for the kids. It takes volunteers to make it happen and you don’t have to be a professional at baseball to come out and be a part of it.”
McLimore shared the league still needs additional volunteers for the 2019 recreational season, specifically coaches.
“It’s all about the kids,” McLimore said. “The whole purpose of these rec leagues is to develop every kid and give every kid an opportunity at the game of baseball. Volunteers help make that happen.”
This is McLimore’s first year as the Owensboro-Daviess County Cal Ripken League President. The league has already implemented a few changes for this season.
“The biggest thing for us this year is we’ve always operated during school time and we’re going back to summer ball. Our season for t-ball and baseball isn’t starting until May 20 and will go through July 13,” McLimore said. “So many of the games were late and parents gave feedback of that affecting the kids schooling. Field conditions weren’t always ideal due to rain in April and this change benefits both of those along with giving the coaches adequate practice time with the kids.”
East Daviess County Little League and softball, which is a county-wide program, will remain on the traditional spring schedules.
“We’re expecting this year to have a really good turnout. We are really looking forward to the season,” McLimore said.
FInd more information here on league registration for both East and West counties.