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Youth baseball and softball

Tough decision made: Oceanside Little League cancels season

League decides to shelve campaign due to coronavirus pandemic
By Staff | May 12, 2020
Photo by: Zack Miller

Rockland — After having hope and a "wait-and-see" attitude a week ago, Oceanside Little League officials have made the difficult decision to not play their 2020 baseball and softball seasons due, in part, to the health concerns over the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Davin Putansu, president of the league, said on Tuesday morning, May 12, he had an update on the season, and "unfortunately it is not one I am not happy to be giving."

He said, "Oceanside Little League’s Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to cancel its 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision was not an easy one and did not come without a great deal of thoughtful discussion. In the end the feasibility of the protective measures that would have been needed, potential lack of participants and volunteers, and most importantly the health safety of our players, coaches, volunteers and spectators outweighed our desire to continue on with the 2020 season."

He went on to state, "Oceanside’s volunteers work extremely hard beginning in October to put together a great program for our communities. This is certainly not what any of our 11 board members signed-up for, and each member of this board is extremely disappointed with the outcome of this decision. However, safety should always be at the forefront of any decision made by this group. I am proud of the thoughtful insights and tough decisions made from our board of directors and am sure they will be ready to put together another great season in 2021."

Putansu added that "I personally feel most for our players who will miss out on getting out on our fields and playing this great game with their friends. I am also greatly disappointed for our 12-year-old players who will now miss out on their last year of Little League. Hopefully, other opportunities will open up for some of these kids and they can salvage some of their summers."

Other Midcoast Little League organizations continue to plan for ways to safely and effectively hold youth baseball and softball seasons this spring/summer during the pandemic and Oceanside, for one, had adopted a "wait-and-see"-approach to the issue just a week ago.

Putansu said a week ago Oceanside, at that point, had not decided on a plan for the season, but league officials continued to communicate often about any and all possibilities to offer the program.

Oceanside Little League includes teams/youngsters from Rockland, Thomaston and Vinalhaven, among other smaller area communities. Oceanside includes the residents who previously played in the longstanding Rockland and Knox Suburban Little Leagues.

Putansu said last week the league's board of directors had been in contact by email and "brainstorming ideas as to how we might be able to have a successful season, if we are able to play. Unfortunately, we are still in 'wait-and-see' mode at this point."

That "wait-and-see" mode changed this week to the realization the league would need play its 2020 season.

"A survey was recently sent out to the Oceanside Little League community about how they felt about the current situation and their feelings about going forward with a season," Putansu said last week. "We have had a tremendous amount of feedback. We will be taking this feedback, along with other area leagues' plans, and recommendations from the state and [Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention] into consideration when the time comes to make a decision on our season."

That time came — for Oceanside league officials and its youngsters — in a negative way this week.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

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