El Campo hasn’t been immune from any COVID-19 obstacles, however, one league has played games and done it safely.
The El Campo Little League did not have a season after virus concerns forced Little League International to cancel the World Series and regional tournaments.
Once state-wide restrictions were lifted, a small four-team softball league was formed and has been playing at Zlotnik Park for the last three Tuesdays and will continue for two more.
“We’ve been practicing the social distancing, we’ve been very open and honest with communication towards our parents and they’ve been the same with us,” Mighty Mermaids coach Laura Motal said.
Parents are a little more cautious. If a player doesn’t feel good, they stay home. A Mighty Mermaid player did not feel well before a game and while it was allergies, that player stayed home out of precaution, Motal said.
The Dirt Diva’s had a player drop out of the league before the start of the season due to concerns over the virus’ spread throughout El Campo. While numbers are growing, with a week of practices before the season and now three weeks of games, the Little League has shown kids can be around their friends and play the game they enjoy.
“We’re doing our part and more so we can continue to have them in the field and get them off the couches and stay active,” Dirt Diva Stanley Acuna Jr. said. “The pandemic impacted their lives as well.”
To stay safe, in the dugouts players are encouraged to keep their distance. Even the umpire doesn’t stand directly behind the plate. High fives and group celebrations aren’t allowed to keep each other at a distance.
“We’ve been able to have our social interactions while social distancing and stay healthy. So if everybody in our community continues to do that, wear a mask when you have distancing your social distancing we can all get through this pandemic,” Motal said.