Fun for allPublished 12:25pm Thursday, May 23, 2013
Sparkman School has organized the Homeruns and Family Fun softball league for special needs children of Morgan County and their siblings.
The league formed three years ago to allow special needs children their own softball league. Thursday, May 16 was the last scheduled game this season. Games were played behind Sparkman School Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. Players were able to play for free due to donations.
Seventy-two players participated this year, the most the league has ever had. Player’s ages ranged from 6 to 38, and the league welcomes children from all over the county with any sort of special need and their siblings. The league’s goal is to provide these families an opportunity to come together and have fun.
In Homeruns and Family Fun games, everyone gets to bat, everyone gets on base, there are no outs, and they don’t keep score. Volunteers play in the field and make sure everyone is involved.
April Green of Falkville has a son, Patrick, in the league for the first time.
“He loves batting and running the bases,” Green said. “He wanted to play for Park and Rec, but we wouldn’t let him. This is a much better fit for him. He absolutely loves it.”
Homeruns and Family Fun benefits both the players and the volunteers. Steve and Michelle Morgan of Hartselle had two children, Kayla, 9, and Hunter, 13,volunteering this year. Kayla and Hunter go to Sparkman School, where they got involved with the league.
“This is their first year volunteering, and they have already decided to volunteer again next year,” Steve Morgan said. “It’s really been good for them, and they have thoroughly enjoyed themselves. They really look forward to Thursday night games.”
Players enjoy spending time with friends during games. Sydney Garcia, 10 of Somerville, played in the league last year and again this year.
“I really like swinging the bat,” Garcia said. “Everyone is good, and we have a lot of fun.”
The league started with much fewer players than it has this year. Sammy Caudle and his children have been a part of the league since the beginning.
“Us and some others started out playing in Decatur,” Caudle said. “We decided we could form our small league if we sponsored it ourselves. When we started is was just us, but now it has grown so much.”
Caudle has five adopted children and one foster child in the league.
“My kids make almost a whole team of their own,” Caudle said. “They have a ball out there. It’s just fun for everyone.”