SBH Little League numbers strong as new season begins

Nathan Oster

Participation in the South Big Horn County Little League baseball program continues to be strong, with 129 players signed up to play on 12 teams starting next month.
While those numbers are down from last year’s record participation of 136 players and 13 teams, they still top the 2022 and 2021 seasons.
The league has formed four T-ball teams — Brewers, Pirates, Red Sox and Diamondbacks — and four coach-pitch teams — Royals, Astros, Rockies and Cardinals.
At the upper level, there are two minors teams — one sponsored by Kustom LLC, the other by High Country Gardens — and two majors teams — one sponsored by The Shack, the other by Big Horn Federal.
The Big Horn Federal majors team and the High Country Gardens minors team are each scheduled to host doubleheaders with Lovell on Thursday, May 2.  Start times are 5:30 and 7 p.m.
The ceremonial Opening Day is scheduled for Saturday, May 11, when all 12 teams are scheduled to be in action.
Unlike last year, the league does not have the numbers to support a senior Little League team.  The seven players who paid their registration fees received refunds.
“That would have put our total at 136,” said Kaitlyn Johnson, who is organizing the league again this season along with her husband Curtis.
According to Curtis, the majors started practice April 1, the minors around May 15.  
While the same approach was used to form the two minors teams, with the goal being to create balanced clubs in terms of talent and experience, organizers are trying something new at the majors level.
One team will be like a varsity, the other a junior varsity.  The more experienced kids will play for Brett Patterson, the less experienced for Chris Dalin who has worked with them on their climb through the system.
The goal, Curtis said, is for the SBHLL to field a senior team next year and in the future.
“The future looks really good,” he said.
One other thing that fans and players can look forward to are new scoreboards on the east and west fields.  They’ve been installed and are ready to go, said Curtis.