Final prep underway for softball tournament

Published 6:06 pm Friday, May 29, 2015

By Derek Thompson
The Selma Times-Journal

Final plans and preparation are underway for the men’s memorial softball tournament June 13 in honor of former Selma recreation director Elton Reece.

“It’s been a generous outpour from the community,” said event organizer Jeremy Ross. “I just want to thank the community for the things they’ve done from the bottom of my heart. It’s overwhelming the support that I am getting from the community.”

As director of recreation, Reece oversaw the city’s athletic programs for football, baseball and softball, and also managed the city’s fields at the Dallas County Sportsplex, Bloch Park and Memorial Stadium.

A previous Times-Journal story credits him with having won more than 400 baseball games during his time at Selma High School.

He also had a tremendous love for softball, a sport that took him all over the country.

“Especially back before we built the complex because some of those fields were smaller,” Reece said. “A popup for him was a homerun.”

There are currently 16 teams registered to participate in the tournament and Reece’s son, Todd, will play for one team he put together himself.

“I contacted some guys I used to play with and we’re actually going to get a team together and participate in the tournament,” Reece said.

Reece said the tournament speaks volume for what his father did for the community over the years.

“When we were approached as a family we had already discussed starting a scholarship fund and when the opportunity presented itself we just saw it as a great opportunity to jumpstart that as far as the fundraising goes,” Reece said.

Reece’s family and softball went hand-in-hand. Todd said his father’s summer tournaments to Florida were like family vacations.

“Softball led my family to those opportunities,” Reece said. “He liked playing the game and was very competitive, but he also saw that it was benefitting his family as a whole and not just him. It wasn’t about him just playing softball. It was about family time and that kind of thing. When another team would approach him his first question was always ‘Is my family going to be able to travel with me?’ If we would get to go with him was always his major priority. It’s another testament to his unselfishness.”

All proceeds from the tournament will go toward an annual scholarship in honor of Reece for an area senior athlete.

A trophy and a T-shirt will be given to place winners.

Trophies will also be given to second and third place teams.

There will be door prizes including bracelets that say “Elton Reece No. 24.” For more information on the tournament or to register for the tournament, contact Ross 349-4431.