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South Boston News / April 02, 2020

If organizers of Halifax County Dixie Youth Baseball have their way, local ball fields once again will thrum with the crack of the bat this summer or fall.

League officials are making plans to hold games this summer or possibly early in the fall in anticipation of day-to-day activity returning to somewhere close to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

The Dixie Youth Baseball season is currently on hold due to state mandates regarding public gatherings that limit attendance to no more than ten people. Once the emergency lifts, however, league officials say they will go forward with the 2020 season.

“We will give the kids an outlet to play ball,” said David Ashwell, president of Halifax Dixie Youth Baseball.

Over the past weekend, with sunny weather and temperatures hovering the 80s, volunteers helped prepare the four fields at the Day Complex for upcoming play. Grass was mowed and edged, and the volunteer workers cleared away leaves and litter in preparation for league games, all while maintaining social distancing.

An additional three baseball fields at the Scottsburg complex are next on the list to prepare and get ready. Anyone wishing to volunteer may send a message to Halifax Dixie Youth’s Facebook page.

“I look forward to when these fields and stands are packed,” said Ashwell, adding the Day Complex is a valuable community asset and a safe place for kids to spend their free time.

Dixie Youth Baseball League has registered almost 500 players who will be divvied up among some 40 teams in various age divisions. Players range in age from four years old to 19.

“Kids get out there and have fun enjoying themselves. They cheer on their teammates with high-fives when a home run happens — they will get this opportunity,” said Ashwell.

In a related announcement, Halifax County Dixie Softball has expressed hopes of starting its season May 1, although that timetable may need to be pushed back with Gov. Ralph Northam’s decision to impose a stay-at-home order for Virginians lasting through June 10.

Young ballplayers in Halifax County are sad about the delay in this season’s games.

“Mama, even if we don’t win any games this year, I just want to play ball with my friends for fun,” said nine-year-old Noah Meeler, according to his mom, Dawn Church Meeler. She said of the situation, “Every year the kids make new friendships and so do the parents.

“It’s a season we all look forward to, and we are definitely looking forward to getting back out there,” said Dawn Meeler.

League directors plan to be in contact with parents once the time comes for the games to begin. Those interested in Halifax County Dixie baseball and softball can stay up to date on new developments by checking the leagues’ Facebook pages.

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