St. Mary’s Little League Opening Day Is Approaching

LEXINGTON PARK, Md. -- After a long offseason full of pandemic-filled difficulties, St. Mary’s Little League (SMLL) is set to begin their baseball and softball season in the coming weeks. Based in St. Mary’s County, SMLL still completed their fall ball season despite COVID-19, and has put further safety guidelines in place to have another successful spring season.  The program invites all children from the ages 4 to 16 to learn the fundamentals of the two sports while offering some friendly competition.

For RJ Bean, the president of SMLL, he's most excited to once again provide the opportunity for children to be active and make some memories.

“I'm most looking forward to these two words: PLAY BALL," Bean said. "It's truly a blessing to be able to have the children in our community getting outdoors playing baseball and softball in a safe and fun environment.”

He hopes to accomplish this with proper COVID-19 guidelines in place and explains that he has “two simple expectations for the season: have fun and be safe.” The league has been in contact with the county's Recreation & Parks and the local Health Department to ensure that they are adhering to the county, state, and CDC guidelines.

A six-year veteran, Grayden Neal, has been a part of SMLL since he was four years old. Capable of playing all positions, Neal excels at pitching and playing shortstop. 

“Baseball is one of my favorite things to do and I missed it when we couldn’t play," Neal said when asked about the upcoming season. I’m looking forward to being able to pitch in games more and to seeing my teammates again.” 

There are endless benefits that come along with playing a sport, and for SMLL, it goes beyond just playing the game.

“This league was built by the community, for the community, and this pandemic has given us greater purpose when it comes to our role as a local little league organization," Bean explained. "While our main goal is to provide every child in this community with the opportunity to play in our league, it's much bigger than baseball and softball... It's about building up players that take care of their neighbors, the same neighbors that have been there to cheer on our children since 1969. While the times are changing, one thing always remains the same: we're all in this together! I can't wait for another fun and safe season with SMLL!”

With staggered game times to limit the number of people gathered and sanitizing every piece of equipment after each game, this will likely be a season like no other. But the goals of the organization will remain the same. 

SMLL’s president states that they, “aim to build upon the character of every child in our community and establish the foundational elements necessary for them to feel part of something larger than themselves: a team!”

To SMLL, baseball and softball are the mechanisms for developing a well-rounded and confident individual who will take the lessons they learn with them off the field and into the professional world.

Registration for SMLL is currently open until February 28th.  For more information on how to sign up and details about the program, visit their Facebook page @stmaryslittleleagueMD.

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