Hiland Park Baseball celebrates opening day after Hurricane Michael

HILAND PARK, Fla. (WJHG/WECP)- Hurricane Michael destroyed Hiland Park Baseball Fields, but the parents of players weren't about to let that stop them from having a spring season.

Hiland Park Baseball celebrated its opening day Saturday. The significance of this opening wasn't lost on the athletes who play baseball there.

Robert Pongratz, a baseball player, said, "It's been like six months ago since Hurricane Michael hit and so it's a really big deal because, I mean, just the opportunity to see everyone again playing baseball and everyone's happy, it means a lot to me and everyone else."

The community has spent the last five months cleaning up the fields to get ready for spring season.

Nicci McEwen, the President of Hiland Park Baseball, said, "We had volunteers here picking up debris off the fields, pulling the fences, the county has helped us, I mean, literally there is nothing that we haven't been able to get volunteers for."

They celebrated opening day with food and carnival games. Getting back on the diamond after Hurricane Michael helps kids feel like life is getting back to normal.

"Our children have been impacted significantly by Hurricane Michael and the number one thing that we try to do is get kids back to normal after any type of event in their life that changes their normalcy, we want to get them back to that normal and this is all part of it," said McEwen.

The parents also said they wanted to show the kids how to stay resilient when things get hard.

McEwen went on to say, "We can all rely on each other and we all understand and it's very important that they see adults working together to come through times like these so that they can be stronger in the future and if anything this storm is going to make us stronger."

Not even three strikes could stop these parents from bringing the fields back for their families.