Lee County Challenger League's season is winding down - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lee County Challenger League's season is winding down

Jennifer Sapp Jennifer Sapp
Will Back Will Back
Todd Smith Todd Smith
Trip Block Trip Block
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

“I love baseball because I hit the ball pretty good,” said Will Back.

Baseball players with disabilities and volunteers are coming together to make a difference in each other's lives.

The inaugural season for the Lee County Challenger League is winding down.

League Director Jennifer Sapp said the league has surpassed her expectations, and she already has plans to expand it.

With each hit and run, smiles light up the faces of these baseball players who aren't letting their disabilities keep them from playing America's past time.

“I hit it pretty darn good," said Will Back, First Baseman.

Thursday's matchup is between the Marlins and Giants. Twenty-five kids ages 6 to 14, from five counties participate in the league. Sapp said her goal was for kids with disabilities to have a regular baseball experience.

"Without the competition level and just be able to come out and have fun and play like all of the other kids out here in the Dizzy Dean League,” said Jennifer Sapp.

Eleven year old Will Back who is visually impaired starts off each game by saying the Pledge of Allegiance.

Trip Block who has Spina Bifida threw out the first pitch.

“This is awesome,” said Trip Block, Threw out first pitch.

Each player is partnered with a "buddy" who provides batting and running support and even high fives.

" I like baseball because my favorite buddy is Mitchell Grantham," said Todd Smith, Player.

" He tells me false alarm when I run out off of the bases," said Will Back

" Probably 50 buddies that have signed up and they are here for every game,” said Jennifer Sapp.

Sapp said the league is growing rapidly and recently turned into a non-profit organization.

" The community has poured into this league. The kids the smiles on the faces. I mean they love to play," said Jennifer Sapp.

Sapp is working on expanding the league with hopes that one day everyone will know its name.

" When you say Challenger League, everybody in South Georgia will know that's the special needs league. We won't have to specify it," said Jennifer Sapp.

Sapp hopes to add a kickball team, bowling and a day camp as part of the league. The league's last baseball game is May 16th at 10 a.m.

For more information call 229-894-9901.

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