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Youth league

"When a complaint is filed with the state Department of Human Rights, it is very much the town's business," Johnsburg Supervisor Sterling Goodspeed said. "The town's insurance covers your program and you play on town fields - this board has every right to be concerned about this matter."

Goodspeed said that the matter is similar to measures designed to segregate the races.

Don Ellsworth said he was frustrated over the league's prohibition, citing his daughter's long-standing interest in baseball. "The kid just wants to play ball - I can't see the problem with that," Don Ellsworth said.

But Olesheski countered that allowing her to play baseball may be to the detriment of Emma and others.

"They aren't doing her any favors," he said. "From here on out if a girl wants to play baseball, so be it - it will be really too bad if this causes many other girls to play baseball and we can't field softball teams."

Olesheski said that he questions the town's commitment to his organization and that if the softball program folds, the JYAI will seek reimbursement of funds spent on uniforms.

Currently, the JYAI softball league is comprised of two teams with 28 girls between them, six of whom played baseball last season.

For Emma, the matter is simple.

"I just can't wait to play third (base) again," she said.

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