Verona Little League - Maxwell Kemnitz

Diamondbacks right fielder Maxwell Kemnitz fields a ball and makes a throw to first base in the sixth inning of an 8U Rookie Verona Little League game last season.

Verona Little League was set to start its 25th anniversary on Saturday, May 2, but the celebration will have to wait due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The season opener was postponed because of Gov. Tony Evers’ “Safer at Home” order, which runs through May 26 to safeguard against the spread of COVID-19.

The league has a record 478 players and 40 teams signed up to play this summer at a later date to be determined.

“I think part of the draw to Little League is the complex as well as playing with your friends,” said Charlie Huckelberry, president of Verona Little League. “We want to get back to the celebration of the community that happens down there.”

The VLL board has developed a ramp-up plan to play as many baseball games as possible once the “Safer at Home” order is lifted. Coaches are completing a player draft using Zoom.

Huckelberry said once the league gets the go-ahead to play, the teams will have some practice time and VLL will be able to host games within one week of getting approval to play.

“It’s hard to plan for a date you don’t know yet,” he said. “We are putting a process in place so when we can return to play, we are ready.”

Huckelberry said the VLL Board is planning on displaying banners, creating slideshows and having a scaled-back opening ceremony to commemorate the silver anniversary.

The organization has canceled its annual Mother’s Day tournament, and the VLL Board is looking to extend the season past the July 17 finale. Huckelberry said the board could extend the season to the end of July.

“We don’t want to go into August because a lot of kids play fall sports,” he said.

Teams are currently prohibited from hosting practices. Coaches have been contacting players and can share fielding and hitting drills with players to work on at their own homes.