Selma to host state championship tourney

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 9, 2005

Business around Bloch Park is about to pick up. Beginning Tuesday, the Queen City’s historic park will become the focus point for the AISA state championship baseball tournament. The tournament will consist of four teams from the Independent School Association’s three classes.

Selma will be represented by Morgan Academy after their 2-1 victory over Mobile Christian.

“Having the tournament at Bloch Park will be good,” said Robert Andress, coach of the Morgan Academy Senators.

“When we were in Mobile we had a good travel crowd and I expect a bigger one at Bloch.”

The Senators will enter as a No. 4 seed and will more than likely play Glenwood in the first round.

The Gators are the No. 1 team in Class AAA.

Meadowview Christian had the opportunity to represent Selma in Class AA, but Escambia Academy swept them in a regional on Wednesday.

“I told them on the mound today when the game was over that they had set the bar really high,” said Rick Jackson, coach of the Trojans. “They’ve made the playoffs in every major sport at this school, it’s going to be up to the juniors, sophomores and freshman to keep that standard.”

Escambia will be bracketed against the winner of the Clarke Prep/Abbeville Christian game Thursday afternoon.

In Class single A, Dallas County won’t be represented but Lowndes Academy is slated to be the top seed and probably the favorite to win the title.

Hosting the state tournament is nothing new to the city of Selma, as well as the Parks and Recreation Department.

Why we stayed there is that the Elton Reece has done a great job with the facility,” said Don Hand, Athletic Director of the Alabama Independent School Association. “He brings his crew in and makes sure that we are ready to play

no matter what the condition of the field. It’s just super what he and his crew does to keep the fields ready to play.

Bloch Park has been the host-site for the tournament since its inception in the 1970’s.

“We are centrally located and the city has a great working relationship with the AISA,” said Elton Reece, Athletic Director for the city of Selma’s Parks and Recreation Department. “The AISA knows that we have people that will work and they are sure of it when they come here.”

Reece said that some teams will begin coming on Monday to practice for the tournament. Morgan had the opportunity to get a head start and began getting aquainted with Bloch Park on Thursday afternoon.

Along with teams playing on the field, the crews from Parks and Recreation have also began refurbishing the field after a season where it was in use nearly everyday.

“We are making sure all the grounds are edged and all the banners are hung,” said Reece. “We’re just refurbishing the infields and just basically sprucing up the ballpark.”

Hosting a tournament of this magnitude will also benefit the Queen City.

“The biggest impact will be made from the teams that come the from the farthest away and will need to spend the night,” said Lauri Cothran, Executive Director of the Selma-Dallas County Tourism and Convention Bureau. “Those are the visitors that will contribute the largest amount to the Lodgings’ tax. The overall impact the tournament will have on the city will be far reaching. The teams and the families that come to watch them will make purchases of many kinds. They will need to buy gas, food and they might need to buy some regular supplies at our retail outlets.”

The AISA State Tournament will be held at Selma’s Bloch Park beginning on May 10 and through the 14th.

Times for the tournament have yet to be announced, but Morgan will tentatively play on Tuesday at 11 a.m., against Glenwood School.

Brackets are posted at www.aisaonline.org.