Fields readying for play

City of Rockport officials have addressed rumors the city told the Rockport-Fulton Little League it could not use the baseball fields at Memorial Park (see story).

The Rockport City Council, at the end of its meeting Tuesday, Jan. 26, heard a report about rumors the City is not going to allow the local Little League to use the fields at Memorial Park. That rumor has been fueled my untruths being spread on Social Media, according the city officials

“We want Little League to be there,” said Rockport Parks & Leisure Services Director Rick Martinez.

Based on interviews with Martinez and City Manager Kevin Carruth Thursday, Jan. 28 it appears rumors been spread that have no basis in fact.

“Little League (officials) approached us the first part of the year to execute the field use agreement,” said Carruth. “In past years that agreement has been finalized anywhere between January and March.”

Carruth said the city suggested to Little League officials holding off on the agreement until the COVID-19 numbers were evaluated after the Christmas break.

He said that suggestion was made in case the league had to alter its schedule (game dates).

“I guess some people thought the City was kicking Little League off the fields,

said Carruth. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

He noted that Martinez and his crew has been prepping the fields for play, just as they do every year.

Carruth said the city told Little League officials late last year to approach this season as they normally do (i.e. – registering players).

It was noted the league usually has its tryouts in mid to late February, the agreement is usually signed in mid to late March, and the first scheduled game is in late March or early April.

“At this point the league has lost no time on field use as some may think,” said Martinez.

He said historically the Little League has approached the City in February to work out the field use agreement.

“We normally don’t even do the contract until March,” said Martinez. “Tryout dates aren’t even on the agreement (and haven’t been for several years).”

Martinez said the dates on which games will be played generally aren’t available until some time in March. Those dates are in the agreement. The reason Carruth said the city suggested postponing the agreement is because those dates might have to change based on the latest COVID-19 information available.

In regard to the Tri-City Youth Soccer League season, Martinez said Ingleside officials have approved games in that city beginning around mid-February.

He said Tri-City officials have asked him to monitor the first games to see what they are doing to meet COVID-19 protocols.

“I would imagine we will approve both agreements (Little League and Tri-City Youth Soccer League) at the same time,” said Martinez.

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