CALIFORNIA CITY – The California City Little League closed out its 2021 season with a ceremony for its baseball and softball players.
Dozens of parents and supporters gathered at the California City ballpark June 12, with players lining up on the field for photos and an award ceremony. The ceremony was led by members of the league’s board including Vice President Shane Moore, the Umpire-in-charge Leonard Gillespie and Jason Oseguera who oversees field maintenance.
Each team was called by name to receive their awards for the year, and the board thanked parents and players for an impressive turnout after the challenging 2020 year.
“There was a lot of work put onto this field,” Moore said during the ceremony. “It was worth it. It was very rewarding and hopefully it continues to happen and grow.”
Several community members say the league’s board president Todd Broussard was a driving force behind getting baseball to the area this year. Broussard has put in several months of work into restoring California City’s ballparks, not just for his love of the sport, but for the community’s sake.
Broussard said the last year has been especially difficult for local sports teams as restrictions remained on public gatherings. But as the season went on Broussard saw more support for the league and attendees at games.
“It was definitely challenging,” Broussard said. “Early on [in the season] everyone had to wear masks except the kids when they were playing, but as the restrictions lightened it got easier.”
Broussard adds that children needed this season, as kids were ready to get back outside and start socializing with their friends again.
“We were the first youth sports organization to come back after pandemic closures. So, this was a big deal for the kids. We had close to 180, more than we expected,” Broussard said.
In addition to providing recreational activity for kids, the league provided financial resources to ensure every kid would be on a team. Through several fundraisers held by the league, everyone who wanted to play was given the opportunity.
These fundraisers will continue this year with the league hosting a booth on California City Blvd in front of the Dollar General Market to start raising funds for the next year from June 28-July 4.
While both baseball and softball teams were recognized during the closing ceremony, the senior softball league has just begun. The city is also looking for volunteers to help bring back the soccer league which is expected to return in August.
As for the baseball and softball field renovations, Broussard said there are two more fields he would like to be redone. Right now, fundraising will go to revamping the snack shed for games and later to fixing up dugouts.