More than 300 youngsters have participated in baseball or softball through the Fayette County Family YMCA this summer.
Despite bad weather at times, 304 youths took the field this season, which is nearing its finish.
Due to the rising popularity of traveling teams, however, that number is about 100 fewer than the YMCA had just two years ago.
Nonetheless, Amber Daulbaugh, who was hired as the program director at the Y on June 20, still said that she was pleased to see so many children participating in something active and competitive this summer.
“I think it benefits them to be out and about,” she said. “They are out there exercising, socializing, and learning about teamwork and being a leader.
“Those are things they won’t learn at home sitting on the couch playing video games.”
Daulbaugh served as the assistant girls basketball coach at Vandalia Community High School this past season, and she said it's "huge" if athletes can learn the fundamentals of being a competitive team player at a young age.
Children aged 4-14 comprised the 24 teams in the YMCA leagues this summer.
The weather for Monday's games was hot and clear, but there have been numerous games canceled due to rain this summer, much to Daulbaugh's frustration.
To combat rainouts in the future, Daulbaugh hopes to incorporate an extra two weeks into the schedule to be used to make up canceled games.
“The rain has not been friendly to us,” she said. “It’s complicated a lot of things, and made a tough situation.”
She said it is difficult to schedule make-up games without extra dates in the schedule, because of family vacations, out-of-town tournaments and the availability of fields, many of which are already in use for regularly-scheduled games several days a week.
In the fall, the YMCA will be offering soccer and flag football leagues to local youths, and Daulbaugh and YMCA Director John Ashdown will be offering sign-ups at some local schools around the start of the school year.