The Oneonta Green Wave may have a season after all.
With Gov. Cuomo allowing low-risk youth sports to begin July 6, Post 259 is preparing for a 2020 season to begin just a couple of days later.
“I have an independent schedule put together for our team,” Green Wave coach Mike Jester told The Daily Star on Monday, June 29. “It starts July 8 and is 17 games long.”
According to the team’s website, the Schenectady County Indians will be the Green Wave’s first opponent at Joe Hughes Field, with first pitch set for 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 8.
The Green Wave issued a statement on it’s website Tuesday, June 23, when it released its schedule, stating: “The national governing body of American Legion Baseball in the U.S. canceled the 2020 American Legion Baseball season nationwide. However, the Oneonta Green Wave baseball team will begin its summer season July 8 with a home game against the Schenectady Indians if the state of New York guidelines allow for the reopening phase allowing summer camps and recreation to reopen.”
The Green Wave’s schedule also features six sets of doubleheaders and is scheduled to run until Aug. 9.
“I’m going to follow the guidelines by the book and try to play some baseball and do everything by the book so we can all beat this virus as soon as possible,” Jester said.
The Green Wave have not had any practice time because access to fields hasn’t been allowed. Thursday, June 25, Cuomo said ‘individuals and outside organizations’ are allowed to use school facilities, but Jester said he’s going to wait until any potential delays arise before he gets his field permits.
Allowing access to fields is a hurdle cleared for those looking to play baseball and softball this summer. Otsenango PONY League President Eileen Lawyer had previously stated that access to school facilities would be one of, and maybe the only, real obstacle to the league having a shortened summer season. Lawyer could not be reached for comment on this story.
Still, individual school districts will have to determine whether they will make the facilities available to outside organizations. Also, short-notice changes to rules have been a consistent part of the state government creating policies regarding athletics during the COVID-19 pandemic. School teams were set to begin stages of summer conditioning work with the state’s entry into Phase Four on Friday, June 26, only for the governor’s office to make changes to that set of guidelines Thursday.
If low-risk club sports are not permitted to begin until after July 6, their current start date according to state guidelines, Jester said there’s “probably no chance” of a 2020 Green Wave season because of the potential scheduling conflicts with NYSPHSAA fall sports.
“Right now things look pretty good, but you never know,” Jester said.