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Civic Center manager: ‘What they learn is carried over into life’

League baseball has returned to the Lincoln Civic Center’s  Hansel King Sportsplex.

Monday, the Lincoln County Board of Aldermen approved the Lincoln Civic Center opening its facilities back up to the public following COVID-19 guidelines, allowing the facility to start its baseball program the same day. The program is for boys ages 6-12.

When asked about how the first night back went, LCC Facility Manager Quinn Jordan was positive.

“It went really well,” Jordan said. “We were below our numbers per field.”

In order to reopen, the Civic Center has implemented guidelines from Executive Order 1491 that was released by the Governor’s office.

The concession stand will not be open, so parents are encouraged to bring water and snacks. Once concessions are approved, no outside food will be allowed except for team coolers containing water.

Bleachers and picnic tables have been removed, so bringing a chair is recommended. Social distancing must be adhered to while watching the games.

Players may only have two visitors from their household accompany them. Each field can have a maximum of 100 people on it and around it.

“Part of following that order is to follow that order in totality,” Jordan said. “Any individuals who aren’t part of the household can’t attend the games right now. We share the frustrations with parents, players and coaches, but we’re required to follow this order in such a way that there is no gray area.”

Games may be stopped and possibly canceled if social distancing is not followed.

Individuals who have been around someone with COVID-19 are encouraged to alert LCC staff and to quarantine themselves for 14 days. Individuals are also encouraged to get tested for COVID-19.

Coaches will ask their players routine symptom questions relating to the coronavirus, including whether they’ve been around someone with COVID-19 and whether they have experienced symptoms of COVID-19.

Hand sanitation stations will be available in the dugouts and around the complex.

At the end of each game, players will line up on the first and third bases to wish each other a good game gesture from a distance. There will be no postgame discussions on the field.

The season normally runs for 10-12 weeks, starting in March and ending in early September. With the outbreak of COVID-19, the season was postponed.

Now the season will only last six weeks, but players will still get to play all of their games.

“Unfortunately we had to cut down to six weeks of play,” Jordan said. “However we were able to give all teams 12 games to play within the regular season.”

Quinn knew that getting the season up and running would be important to the community.

“The reason we felt like it was so important is that our kids and parents are desperately trying to find what our new normal looks like,” Jordan said. “With baseball being such a huge part of our society, parents and players were looking for that outlet to get things back started.”

He hopes players and parents alike will still enjoy the modified season.

“We hope people remember that it’s for those kids to come together to enjoy teamwork, to learn how to win and lose, and to become better members of society,” Jordan said. “You think we’re here to play baseball, but we’re here to raise young men and woman to be future leaders in our area. What they learn on the field is carried over into life.”

 

Story by Gracie Byrne