Zephyrhills Free Press

The boys and girls of summer are back

Zephyrhills Little League returns to action Saturday

After a season halted by COVID-19, Zephyrhills Little League Baseball and Softball will launch the 2021 season this Saturday with Opening Day ceremonies at Sam Pasco Park and games in multiple divisions.

The 2020 season came to an abrupt halt due to COVID-19 and Pasco County’s shutdown of county facilities making the return of Little League baseball a celebrated event.

To kick off the 2021 season, City Councilman Alan “Coach” Knight will toss out the first pitch during the ceremony that will begin at 9 a.m. The opening ceremonies will officially start the season for the 14 teams encompassing 220 children on the rosters. A second opening ceremony will be held at Noon with Zephyrhills Police Officers who once played in Zephyrhills Little League throwing out the first pitch to launch the start of the majors, juniors and seniors games.

ZLL will field four T-Ball teams, two Minor League teams, two Major League teams, one Junior and one Senior squad. On the softball side, there is a Minor B Team, two Major League teams, and a Senior League teams.

“It’s feels good to have these kids back,” Wilkes said. “My only purpose now is to get these kids playing again.”

Teams from Zephyrhills will play more interleague games this season than in league history. Teams will square off against teams from Temple Terrace, Land O’ Lakes, Dade City, Antioch and Plant City.

Zephyrhills Little League President Adam Wilkes said the sudden end to the season last year due to COVID-19 pushed some players to travel ball teams and away from Little League play.

Wilkes said excellent field conditions are an unforeseen bonus from the COVID shutdown. He credits the Pasco County Parks Department for the incredible grounds maintenance.

“I have better looking fields than I have ever seen at this park, since I was playing at this park as a kid.” Wilkes said. “For the first time, there is grass on my infields that is two-three inches thick with no bald spots.”

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