BECKLEY, WV (WVNS)– It’s time to play ball! The Challenger Little League started its season on Saturday, April 2, 2022 with opening day at the Beckley Little League Fields.

The day started off with opening ceremonies and the National Anthem. Teams played games in the morning and continued throughout the afternoon.

Lisa Matherly-Lilly is the Assistant District Administrator for The Challenger Little League. She said this program’s been running for 27 years.

“These are kids with different types of disabilities, from down syndrome to autism, to cerebral palsy, different forms of disabilities,” Lilly said.

This league is for people with disabilities but there was no way to tell as they batted and ran all three bases. Coach, Neil Shrewsbury said he has coached kids for ten years and the reason he continues to do it is for their smiles.

“You see them, they come running up hugging and hollering, ‘Hey Coach’ and so that’s a really good experience, you know, to see them later on and to see the kids have friends for life,” Shrewsbury said.

The Little League plays and travels through mid-June. They will even get to travel to Virginia Beach in May.

Brayden Jones said he’s happy he can play because these are where most of his friends are.

“It’s fun, I think a lot of people should come back out and play. A lot of people got quarantined and left. I think they should all come back out and play,” Jones said.

Ghent and Beaver Volunteer Fire Departments even came out to play and lose against the mighty baseball players.