Weekend tournament a test for possible new league

Published 10:57pm Tuesday, September 17, 2013

This weekend, six local elementary schools will come together to play a baseball tournament at Earnest Bennett Baseball Field in what organizers are calling a “trial run” for a potential full-fledge league a year from now.

The six elementary schools playing in the tournament are Payne, Clarke, Edgewood, Kingston, Knox and Meadowview.

“We are in the process of trying to get the kids more active, besides just laying around the house playing on the computer or getting in trouble with gangs and things,” said City Council Ward 8 representative Michael Johnson. “We are also trying to get them in shape.”

The tournament will start Friday, Sept. 20 and will wrap up with Sept. 21 with double elimination play.

If the tournament goes well, Johnson and Selma City School Board president Henry Hicks are hoping it turns into a full fledge league that would start sometime next August.

“What we are doing now is a trial run with a tournament this weekend to see how it goes and next year we are going to do a school league,” Johnson said. “So far it is going real good.”

The trial run gives organizers a chance to see if this is something that can be continued in future years, depending on participation from parents, students and faculty members from the schools.

“I just want to make sure this is something we can continue on with the participation from the parents, students and teachers,” Johnson said. “We aren’t trying to make any money. Any money we do make from the concession stand will be paid to the umpires or given back to the schools.”

Hicks, who has also helped out with organization of the event, said participation is the key to the tournament turning into an actual league for 2014.

“Participation from the community, parents and kids and probably the faculty from the schools,” Hicks said when asked what he was hoping to see when the event kicked off. “That’s what we are looking for. We are looking to make sure our kids have something year round to do.”

Hicks referenced Michelle Obama’s movement, called “Let’s Move” and said that this tournament fits what that movement is all about.

“This will keep them off the computer and keep them active and playing ball and hopefully we will help them from getting diabetes or overweight and all that kind of stuff,” Hicks said.

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