GUERNSEY – After only two weeks of practice, the Guernsey little league was ready for competition. Monday night afforded them the start to a season they weren’t sure was ever going to happen.
Head coach of the 9-12-year-old Guernsey Braves, Gordon Noggle who is a 9-year veteran coach and assistant coach, Chris Delay have a relatively young team with an overabundance of rookies who have never played the game and few veterans for leadership.
In the final scrimmage last Friday night, two little league Guernsey teams, the Braves and the Giants duked it out to work out the kinks before the June 1 official opening of the regular season.
The final tweaks were being worked on so that come Monday, they would more resemble the movie “The Sandlot” instead of “The Bad News Bears.”
“We only have one returner,” Noggle said. “The rest are brand new to little league. They played minor league with the pitching machine so they’re really young. We’ll find out how we are. The last few nights in spite of their age, they looked pretty good.”
The coaches agreed that both the Braves and the Giants hit well in the scrimmage and other than the problem with a few dropped third strikes and some passed balls, this age group looks to have a decent season.
“Our big push behind the season opening, I give credit to Chris Fabenbush, he’s the president of the little league board in Wheatland,” Noggle said. “They were thinking about canceling the season and he tabled it and started getting plans from Cheyenne and Fort Collins who were doing social distancing and presented it to their health board of the county and the state and he was the one who actually got it pushed through. So without him there wouldn’t be a season.”
Guernsey is adhering to the guidelines of keeping the kids six feet apart, no players in the dugout and using the bleachers maintaining social distancing for their dugouts. The league also limed out boxes and lines as to where kids and coaches can’t cross.
“By the end of the year, I am hopeful that we will be back in the dugout,” Noggle said.