The Hartsville Little League has officially canceled the remaining portion of its 2020 summer schedule amid rising numbers of COVID-19 in the Midstate area.

The league made the announcement on July 1 on its Facebook page, stating in part: “Both the pros and cons have been greatly considered in this, and we feel the risks are just too great to try to finish the summer season. Our number one priority is the health and safety of the kids, and we feel like that is compromised at this point.”

Gov. Bill Lee extended Tennessee’s state of emergency related to COVID-19 until Aug. 29. Restrictions under that executive order have also delayed the start of the high school football season.

Little League President Joe Cornwell spoke with The Vidette and said it just was not feasible to finish out the season, which began in mid-June after being delayed from its usual April start.

“We’ve been looking for guidance from health care businesses or government, and they don’t want to tell us yea or nay on proceeding,” Cornwell said. “Ultimately, it’s the safety of the kids. We know our numbers are rising and one of our concerns is ‘What if a kid on a team gets it and then the whole team gets it?’ ”

The league was in the midst of a break for the July 4 holiday and had suspended play on June 23 as COVID-19 numbers grew.

Cornwell said the board wanted to make a decision early enough to be able to let coaches and players know about the cancellation before any holiday travel plans.

“We felt the risks were just too great as opposed to the reward of the kids getting to play ball. We went back and forth a hundred times over this… We know options around here are limited.”

Cornwell said no decision had been made yet on the fall season. Signups would typically begin in late July, but he said the league board would make a decision in the coming weeks.

Youth football: Shane Sanders, president of Trousdale County Youth Football, told The Vidette that the league presidents were scheduled to meet next week to discuss scheduling for the upcoming season.

“As of right now the season is still going to happen, but until we have our meeting I will not know how that is going to formulate,” Sanders said.

The youth league’s Facebook page will be updated as soon as information becomes available.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.

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