October 21, 2021

City sports programs take big hit

COVID-19 Impact

Various sports balls/equipment stock

The fallout out is continuing from the COVID-19 virus and it has taken direct aim at many of the programs that run through the Cortland Youth Bureau.

The Youth Bureau announced Wednesday that with the City of Cortland furloughs and budget cuts, a number of its programs have been canceled for this spring and summer.

Among the programs affected are Home-Cort Youth Lacrosse League, Little Sticks Lacrosse, all adult softball leagues, Cathy Stage Softball League, all youth and adult basketball leagues, the Fishing Derby and the SLU Basketball Academy.

Currently, Wickwire Pool, Yaman Beach, the Splash Pad at Suggett Park won’t be opening in the near future. Also closed until further notice are all park buildings, playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball courts and restrooms; the Youth Center, including all programming; Yaman Pavillions 1, 2, and 3 and Rotary Shelter; the Skate Park and the Community Garden.

“Devasting,” Cortland Youth Bureau Director John McNerney said. “The Mayor and City Council had to make some tough decisions. It is really very unfortunate. I am sad for the youth and families. The physical fitness is good as are the aquatics programs. These programs help bring families together.”

The painful decisions being made are all for the most important goal at this time.

“The top priority now and in the future is the health and safety of all the people using our programs and facilities. There is still so much uncertainty about the social distancing guidelines and what they will be in the future. We will update everyone on what our plans are when we know what will be allowed.”

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Crush season still on

The Cortland Crush baseball team is now looking at a shortened season at this time according to general manager-head coach Bill McConnell.

The New York Collegiate Baseball League season is slated to start June 15 with 10 teams competing. Genesee and Hornell had to drop out of the league this season for various reasons, but it is likely tied into the COVID-19 virus.

“The teams will play 32 games each,” McConnell said. “The championship will take place in one or two days.”

“In reality we are following Major League Baseball’s guidelines,” NYCBL commissioner Joe Brown said. “All the various leagues check in and get guidance from there. Right now we are accommodating the loss of two teams. We will have two five-team divisions and they will play each team in their division eight times. This is trying to help with expenses and travel involved in playing games against the other division.”

While this date is still subject to change as well, Brown thinks a final decision will be made regarding the season soon.

“We have a conference call Friday and I think everything should be resolved within two weeks,” Brown said.