The start of Penns Valley Little League is only two days away, and volunteers have been hard at work getting fields and other necessities ready for the season.
Field Days started April 5 with five to 10 people gathering to fix the grounds at the five fields around the valley — two in Centre Hall, and one each in Millheim, Rebersburg and Spring Mills.
Field maintenance officer Jeremy Stover said he enlisted as much help as possible to spruce up the area.
“This winter took its toll on the fields, so we did some cleanup, raked some leaves and did some weeding,” he said.
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Earlier this month, the crew also installed two new pitcher’s mounds at fields in Millheim and Rebersburg.
Stover said the league purchased two loads of infield mix and clay brick from John Deere Landscapes in State College for “a few hundred dollars” to fix the mounds.
It took the crew about four hours to create each mound, Stover said.
“They needed work,” he said.
“I wouldn’t say we’re experts, but we did a pretty good job.”
The league is made of four divisions of boys and girls ages 5 to 12 on 15 teams.
This year, about 165 players are registered, said league President Brian Niewinski.
“It’s been fun so far. We’re working on our website more and have a really good relationship with the Spikes,” he said.
The State College Spikes allowed the league and its players to use the indoor training facility at Medlar Field in a series of preseason practices.
“It’s been pretty cool. The kids sometimes get to run into Penn State or Spikes players, and establish a really nice bond,” Niewinski said.
Niewinski said that Penns Valley Little League used to be divided into subleagues based on which area in the valley the players were from. About four years ago, it was changed to one combined league.
For more information, visit www.pennsvalleybaseball.org.