State restrictions lifted on youth sports and summer camps

Players are ready to get back on the field. (WJHG/WECP)
Players are ready to get back on the field. (WJHG/WECP)(WJHG)
Published: May. 22, 2020 at 8:17 PM CDT
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The fields may look empty at Frank Brown Park recently, but players, coaches, and spectators will soon return. Friday, Governor DeSantis lifted state restrictions on youth sports and summer camps.

“We’re not going to be instituting a lot of rules, or any rules," Governor DeSantis said at Friday's news conference in Jacksonville.

It's another opportunity for a sense of normalcy here in Panama City Beach. Youth sports and summer camps have the green light to start up again.

“I think our kids have been out of organized activities for a couple months now. I think we need to have a pathway to get it back," Governor DeSantis said.

Players are ready to get back on the field.

“It’s been pretty rough actually. I have a tee at home so I get to hit off that. Since the fields have opened back up we have been coming almost every day," local baseball player Eli Brown said.

Brown was practicing at Frank Brown Park in Panama City Beach on Friday getting ready for an upcoming tournament next weekend.

Coaches are looking to do the same.

“We're actually going to try and start practice again up here at Frank Brown next week. We're playing in a tournament on June 6 here. So we're trying to move along, keep the kids happy, keep the kids going," Florida League 12U Head Softball Coach Katie Lopes said.

Local nonprofit Girls Inc. is also jumping to reopen summer camps. Executive Director Niki Kelly has a plan in place ready for action June 1.

“We will have smaller groups. We’re limiting the capacity at both of our facilities to half of what we would normally take for summer camp. We’re instituting different protocols like taking temperatures when people arrive. Only girls and Girls Inc. employees are in the building," Kelly said.

This lifted restriction may just be the beginning of a normal summer for PCB.

"We're trying to make plans for the summer concert series coming back and a lot of our special events, so as this develops, we'll see how much we can have. We hope to have a great summer," Panama City Beach Public Information Officer Debbie Ward said.

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