WATERVLIET, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Saturday was opening day across the Capital Region for many local Little League baseball and softball players. In Watervliet, the city’s Little League kicked off their festivities with players and coaches parading down 25th street.

“It’s going to be a very exciting season, where all of our kids are able to play. Last year, we were fortunate enough to get through an entire season without any issues because of COVID, we’re hoping to continue that this year,” said Brian Kelly, the league’s president.

Once everyone made their way to the diamond, there was more than just a celebration of a new season. As fighting continues in Eastern Europe, Watervliet Little League made sure to show respects to the people of Ukraine.

Saturday morning’s ceremony included the singing of the Ukrainian national anthem, as well as the ceremonial first pitch tossed by Father Mikhail Myshchuk, a pastor at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church, which overlooks the ballfield.

“It’s an honor. It’s an honor to be a part of city life, especially in young kids’ life,” Myshchuk said, “I say emotional, to experience that, even the kids, can relate to the hardships of the people of Ukraine,” speaking about the city’s continued support of the Ukrainian effort.

Once the opening day festivities concluded, the season officially got underway, with tee-ball starting a day full of baseball, in what hopes to be another fun and exciting season.

“That’s the name of the game is kids having a good time and having fun,” Kelly said.