A new season is on the horizon for Plainview young people with special needs.
Robert Pickus, the director of Plainview Little League’s Challenger Program says the league is set to open its season Sunday April 7 at 1 p.m. at Haypath Field.
"We enable children from the ages of 4-21 with varying disabilities – both physical and cognitive - to play baseball," Pickus said. About 40 kids are expected to participate in the opening ceremonies, which is expected to be attended by several local elected officials.
The Plainview Challenger Program is a division of the Plainview Little League which subsidizes the program. It is free to all players and the league is sponsored by La Famiglia Restaurant and The Hagedorn Little Village School.
The teams are divided into two uneven teams – a team of kids who are 13 and older and a team of children who are under 13. The season spans 12 weeks and will include four games currently – with the possibility of 2 more being added. The 4 games are home-at-home series against East Meadow and Roslyn.
The Plainview team participates in the Challenger Tournament every spring – which is in Garden City this year on June 15.
Pickus joined the Board of the Plainview Little League last year. His son, Noah, 8, started playing when he was 5.
"He loves it so much that I felt the need to get involved," Pickus said. "We accept any child of any age with any disability – physical or cognitive."
The coaching staff includes: “Majors Team” - Charles Devlin from East Rockaway (Manager), Bob Hernandez of East Rockaway, Robert Adinolfi of Plainview and Player/Coach Paul Shamul of Old Bethpage, who has been with the program for about 15 years.
“Minors Team” coaches are Pickus,, William Angstreich of Plainview, Ken Krogman of Plainview and Dan O’Brien of Plainview.