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High Country Senior Softball League Adjusts Schedule for Remainder of 2020 Season

By Nathan Ham

The High Country Senior Softball League recently resumed play and will continue to gather on the softball diamond through October every Monday and Friday.

The league, which is open to all seniors ages 60 and over, will play in Boone at the Watauga County Parks and Recreation fields off of State Farm Road each Monday at 9:30 a.m. and will play in Newland at Avery County Parks and Recreation’s ROCK field each Friday at 9:30 a.m.

This is the fourth year of the league after first being organized in 2017.

With the COVID-19 pandemic going on, a lot of things have changed for the softball league this year. According to Bert Valery, who helps organize the local teams, he said they went from having seven teams playing on 10 different fields down to just two teams playing at two locations.

“Most of the schools and parks are not open and we’re not allowing fans. We have to take temperatures before anyone is allowed on the field and we’re having to wipe down bats and balls between each batter,” said Valery. “But at least we’re still able to play and we’re practicing twice a week now. Everything has been good so far, no one has been sick.”

As always, there is no fee to play, the leagues are open to men and women and there are extra mits available if you do not have one. Bats are provided at each game.

Other locations that field senior league teams have experienced the same issues as the High Country teams have.

“Johnson City had three teams but they are only fielding one this year. So many of the people are snowbirds so they are locked in where they are right now,” said Valery.

For more information on the senior softball league, give Bert Valery a call at 727-215-5560 or email him at bertvalery1@hotmail.com.