Kourtney Lavergne gets set to throw the ball after fielding a grounder from coach Sunny LaHaye. The pair were working on footwork after collecting the ball at their practice in preparation for the upcoming VPGSA season. (Gazette photos by Tracey Jagneaux)
Play ball, Chataignier!!!
After a long wait and lot of anxiety, baseball and softball in Ville Platte is back in session.
Starting tomorrow, the Ville Platte Girls Softball Association and Dixie Youth Baseball will begin their 2020 season, and with it comes with a huge sigh of relief and a ton of excitement.
“I know the girls are looking forward to getting out on the field to play,” stated VPGSA President Sadie Figueiredo. “It will be a challenging season with all the regulations, but I believe it will be a good season. I am excited about this year, because this will be the first year we have girls from throughout the parish playing in Ville Platte. With Pine Prairie and Mamou choosing not to play, some of the girls that normally play in those towns will be playing with us.”
Dixie Youth President Jed Lafleur echoed Figueiredo’s sentiments.
“I am ready to go and so are all the players,” said Lafleur. “For a while, we did not know if there would be a season or not. We made contingency plans either way. Thankfully, we will putting our plan to play in effect. Even with there being no post-season tournaments, the kids are pumped to be out on the fields again.”
However, going to a game at the Ville Platte/Evangeline Parish Recreational Complex (VPERC) will require persons to follow the guidelines set forth by the State of Louisiana. The VPERC, being a public area and falling within the City of Ville Platte, must follow Phase I guidelines.
“We are thrilled to be able to open up again so that the kids of the surrounding area can get back to some type of normalcy,” commented VPERC Director David LaHaye. “With that in mind the VPERC Park is working closely with leagues regarding following the fire marshal’s instructions that have come down from Governor Edwards’ reopening safely guidelines. We want all persons that come to the park to know the fire marshal’s office will be sending someone to check on the park and see if the park and spectators attending games are in compliance with those guidelines.”
LaHaye listed some adjustments that will be made at the park itself to adhere to those guidelines. Here is a list of those adjustments:
1. The playground at the park will be closed until further notice.
2. The park encourages those with vulnerabilities to park at back fence and watch from vehicle.
3. Bleachers with red tape on top are not to be used.
4. Encourage bringing your own chairs since bleacher seating will be limited to maintain social distancing.
5. Social distancing areas will be marked off (refer to map in next two columns).
6. There will be markings on ground to maintain social distancing at concession stand.
7. Signs will be posted around the park reminding families to socially distance.
8. Signs will be posted around the park reminding people to wash or sanitize hands often.
9. Although not required, face masks are encouraged.
10. There is a plan to broadcast games via Facebook to encourage at risk family members to stay home.
“We definitely want people to come and enjoy the ballpark and watch their kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews play,” said LaHaye. “But we also have to remember that we are still under the guidelines sent down by the state and the governor. The kids are ready to go, I’m ready to go and the concession stand will be up and running with a couple of new twists to the menu.”