NEW ORLEANS, La.– The LHSAA’s decision to discontinue spring sports, like baseball, left seniors without an outlet to finish their seasons.
Louisiana’s American Legion Baseball department is stepping in with a solution.
“The national organization when they voted they voted to cancel the national tournaments because they didn’t want people traveling and they didn’t want to house a hundred kids in 8 different places, so they left it up to each state to do what they wanted to do,” says Louisiana American Legion Director Sidney Parfait.
Parfait says that there will be baseball.
“We are not sure what it’s going to look like yet but we are having a zoom meeting next week with the coaches who are interested in putting teams on the field and hopefully we will have 20 teams that are willing to play and ready to play.”
Parfait says the plan is to hold smaller tournaments with neighboring states and to play Louisiana’s 2020 state tournament around mid-July.
Legion is also exploring ways to include more teams and give more seniors a chance to play baseball.
“I have got to talk to some coached to give seniors an opportunity to play. It may be coaches that are not normally high school coaches or maybe they coach at small schools and don’t have an opportunity to have a summer program like this, but if we can get a couple of those guys to field 2 or 3 teams that can play in our league or coach Joe Scheuermann’s All- American League, we are going to give them an opportunity to play.”
Games that legion baseball is prepared to play without fans.
“It would be hard but if it comes to that we would have to bite the bullet and figure out a way to pay for it because it’s not free and we don’t make any money here contrary to what people think. We use the money we take in to pay umpires, pay for baseballs, insurance and things like that.”
The monetary loss would not amount to the lost seasons that high school seniors have had to endure.
” It’s a new one for all of us and unfortunately the youngsters, the players, the kids that go to school boys girls whatever, softball, they don’t know what to do they have never seen anything like this we have never seen anything like this.”