Another opportunity for youth baseball is coming to Jacksonville this spring. Baseball players ages 10 to 12 years old in the Jacksonville #117 School District are invited to participate in the newly formed Jacksonville Little League.
According to an announcement by the league Friday, these registered Little League teams from Jacksonville will compete against other teams throughout Little League District 17 during the regular season.
One of the organizers of the Jacksonville Little League, Randy Plunk says he was moved to help start the movement to bring a Little League to Jacksonville after both of his sons played baseball both locally and in travel leagues.
“The important thing was kinda getting back to the grassroots of playing baseball. We all grew up playing Little League and for me, it was kind of going back to that. It’s a great organization, it’s a great opportunity for kids from the school district to get together, because ultimately, they will all play junior high ball together or play high school ball together, so we’re getting together with that opportunity or dream of potentially making the all-star team and getting to Williamsport. That was the biggest piece for me.”
The league will give players the chance to make a team that could compete for a spot in the Little League World Series held in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, each year for the postseason.
Plunk says he and the organizers of the Jacksonville Little League don’t want to take away from any other youth baseball organization in the area, they simply want to offer another option for families to let kids be kids right here at home.
“The goal is, we’ll play them all out at Future Champions during the week so that those folks that want to have weekends free, they will have the free weekends. Sometimes when it comes to other sports it turns into that is your family’s vacation and we want kids to be kids and to enjoy the summer and play a little baseball like we all used to when we grew up.”
Player assessments will be held on Tuesday, April 2, at 5:30 p.m. at Future Champions Sports Complex, Field 6. Baseball athletes who are between the ages of 10 and 12 on or before August 31, 2024, are encouraged to participate in the assessment.
The number of athletes registered will determine the number of teams organized. The fee is $100 per athlete, which includes the cost of a team jersey and hat. Fundraising options will be offered to offset the registration cost, and sponsorships are welcomed.
Home games will be played in Jacksonville at Future Champions beginning in late April. Game nights will be announced after the number of teams has been determined.
Pre-registration for the April 2 assessment is encouraged. For more details, visit www.jacksonvillell.com or Jacksonville Little League on Facebook.