South Fort Myers Little League could move after 2007 season

South Fort Myers Little League's 15th season in 2007 might be its last at Rutenberg Park.

Howard Gold — who has been involved in the league for the past decade, including the last five as president — said SFMLL will be at Rutenberg next season, but could be calling Wa-ke Hatchee Community Park home soon thereafter.

"Hopefully in '08 we'll be at the new park," he said.

SFMLL would be part of a planned expansion at Lee County's facilities behind Lexington Middle School off Summerlin Road. Gold said the baseball aspect of the expansion would include one 300-foot junior/senior field with, three 200-foot Little League-sized fields and a pair of smaller T-ball fields for its youngest players.

Rutenberg currently has two Little League-sized fields and one junior/senior field. Gold said picking up the additional Little League field will help as the league continues to grow.

"That extra field will make a big difference in scheduling," said Gold, noting that in the past few years SFMLL has added teams at nearly every level. "There's been a lot of growth at the younger level."

Gold's children have long since graduated from the Little League ranks, but he remains an instrumental part of the league's day-to-day operations. He's not sure for how much longer.

"It's year-to-year," said Gold. "I'll definately be here for next year at Rutenberg. Maybe when we move to a new park, it might be time for somebody with younger kids to take over."

If space becomes available at Rutenberg, the Cypress Lake Hornets youth football program -which also calls the park home -will glady fill it.

"If (Little League) leaves and they don't move anyone else in, we'd love to have another practice field," said Hornets president Shirley Simpson.

Including players and cheerleaders, the Hornets have about 275 youngsters.

© 2006 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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