In an emotional statement at Tuesday’s Anchorage Assembly meeting, Eagle River Assemblywoman Jamie Allard expressed to the Knik Little League baseball team her deep sympathy for the situation that led to them being disqualified from the Northwest Regional Tournament due to one positive Covid-19 test on the team. The team had traveled to San Bernadino, Calif. for the tournament that would lead to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Penn:
“I just have to say how proud I am of the Eagle River Knik Little League Team, and how my heart breaks for them that they were required to forfeit playing at the Northwest Region Tournament, in a situation that was entirely out of their control,” Allard said, taking a moment of personal privilege during the regular Assembly meeting.
“They did nothing wrong. They did everything right. They were forced to forfeit because one player had a positive Covid test.
“That player had no symptoms, and no one else on the team or in the entire Alaska contingent that went to San Bernadino, California to represent our state tested positive.
“This was a crushing decision by Little League International.
“In this case, 10 to 12 year olds who won state, and were in the running to play in the Little League World Series.
“If our boys had arrived on Friday instead of Thursday, they would have been able to play through the weekend, like all the other teams did – the teams that didn’t have to travel such a distance.
“But because we live in Alaska, the Knik Little League team had to travel a day early, and test a day early, and get their test results on the Friday, while the other teams got to play through the weekend without their test results. Why? Because those teams arrived on Friday.
Of course, we don’t even know if that was a false positive test, although there is documentation that suggests as many as 5 percent of Covid positive tests are false positives.
That said, I am grateful that all of the team is healthy and all of the parents and family members are healthy. These kids worked so hard, and we’re all proud of them, just as we are proud of all of our young athletes in Anchorage and in Alaska.
They are Eagle River kids. They are Alaska strong. They are resilient. They are winners. And we are so very proud of them.
I want to thank all the parents, volunteers, coaches, and the brothers and sisters who are part of the Little League family. Throughout the community, volunteers help us grow generations of leaders and Americans who know the value of working together as a team, striving to be their best, getting rewarded for hard work and achievement.
And now also the toughest lesson of all, that life sometimes just isn’t fair,” Allard said.