After their season was lost due to COVID-19, the coaches of the Challenger baseball league found a way to celebrate their players anyways.  

The Challenger baseball league is associated with Little League and has more than 10 teams, comprised of children and adults with special needs that love the game of baseball.  

Players drove through Calvary Church for a “victory lap” on Saturday morning, from 10 to noon, waving at their coaches and getting a few keepsakes and snacks.  

“It’s to celebrate the players for the season that wasn’t,” Mike Laverty, an assistant coach for the league and one of the board members said of the parade.  

“We just wanted to get out and give them a chance to see their coaches and for us to see them,” he said.  

Coaches cheered for the players as they drove through, stopping to wave at firefighters with Manheim Township Fire and Rescue, snagging a bag of Hammond’s pretzels, getting a coupon for Rita’s on Manheim Pike and to wave at Cylo, from the Lancaster Barnstormers.  

The season usually runs from April to June, playing games once a week.  

“It is an extremely safe environment where winning is least important and where making every player feel like a winner is the most important,” Laverty said in a press release.  

Some players arrived on the back of a motorcycle and others drove themselves through the parade route, others carried their own signs saying they were excited to play next year.  

Laverty said that Challenger teams would’ve competed in the Little League World Series this year, but that was also cancelled due to the coronavirus.  

Instead, they’ll be playing in the 2022 Little League World Series in Williamsport, Laverty said, giving the players even more to look forward to.