Youth baseball, softball starting dates pushed back

By LAURENCE HILLIARD,

It is not only high school athletics in Mississippi adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The Kosciusko Dixie youth baseball and softball seasons are on hold.

“As of right now nothing is canceled. We have just delayed everything,” said Kosciusko Parks and Recreation director Todd Ables. “We were supposed to already be practicing.”

But teams are not practicing and the season will not begin April 13 and 14 as scheduled. The hope at this point is to begin play in mid May.

“Right now everything is up in the air,” Able said. “We haven't even picked teams yet in baseball. At this point, we just want to get some games in. We're not concerned about all stars. If that happens, that's  a plus, but right now we are hoping to not cancel the season.”

Kosciusko has a thriving program for Dixie Youth baseball and softball, with approximately 500 participants in age groups ranging from 3-4 for co-ed softball up to 11-12 for both baseball and softball.

The skills developed at the youth level pay dividends down the road, such as the Kosciusko high school  softball team that won the state 4A championship in 2018 and reached the North State final last year, and the baseball team that advanced to the second round of the playoffs a year ago.