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Coronavirus caseload continues to rise in region, state

Money still available in South Boston’s small business loan fund

Flooding in the forecast; detours set to begin

Torrential rains that have fallen this week are expected to submerge Riverdale by Friday, with flooding of the U.S. 58-501 intersection likely by Friday or Saturday.


Jeffress, Lee named Top Athletes at HCHS

Deaundra “Dee Dee” Jeffress and Thomas Lee were honored as Female and Male Athletes of the Year at Halifax County High School Thursday morning.





Going back to the FUNdamentals / May 14, 2020

The announcement last week by Halifax County Dixie Youth Baseball’s president David Ashwell that it would attempt to begin play on Monday, June 29 was welcomed by players and parents, although cautiously by some.

The league had approximately 500 players signed up for competition this spring. The COVID-19 pandemic altering the original start date and for a while appearing as if it would take out Dixie sports altogether.

But Ashwell and the Dixie board have remained focused the organization would put on a season, somehow. After setting the date Ashwell said it’s all about giving the kids a chance to play and helping them, regain some normalcy in their lives.

While coaches, players and parents have mostly been onboard, some haven’t quite made up their minds yet, while others are deciding to skip baseball for now.

Ashwell said he understands all the differing issues and said safety would always lead any decisions the board makes in light of the coronavirus.

“Well, we sent it to all the coaches some have not responded which is normal” Ashwell said. “A very few have said they did not want to play.

“Now some (kids) will be gone for the summer and we understood that so we were mostly trying to promote the kids playing baseball versus trying to offer a refund that they didn’t wanna play. We wanted to promote all positivity but it’s not negative if some of them don’t want to play.”

Ashwell said this year’s Dixie Youth Baseball wants to get back to concentrating on the kids. He said he and others felt this season even with its difficulties would be a success due to the fact that there will be less pressure on the players, parents and coaches – and Ashwell said that’s what it should be normally and is something Dixie Youth needs to get back to.

“When we met as a board this past week and we’ve all had some side conversations, the whole general consensus is, ‘”Let’s make this the best year possible ever for Dixie baseball,’” Ashwell said.

“Because there’s no pressure of all-stars, no child that’s gonna be borderline and didn’t make it, and then the parents don’t have to get upset, don’t have to worry about participation trophies.”

Ashwell said all forms of a particular sport can be useful, including participation on a travel ball team. Ashwell himself coaches travel ball, “I coach travel ball. I’m the vice-president of the Virginia Squires,” said travel ball has its place but Dixie Youth baseball shouldn’t be like travel ball as they are two totally different animals.

“We just wanna play baseball,” continued Ashwell. “And just want to give these kids an avenue to get out have fun and learn; bring back the learning of fundamental baseball versus the pressure of you know, it’s all about the travel ball kids, it’s all about the coaches kids and that’s not what we want.

“We want to focus on all 500 kids that play. And that’s the main goal and objective that we want this year, to bring rec-ball back to learning and supporting having fun.”

Even with his travel ball responsibilities, Ashwell said his first commitment is to Dixie Youth sports.

“I do the travel ball thing too. But my first concern, first and foremost is Dixie baseball. Cause that’s where these kids start and we’re trying to come up with a plan that when these kids start t-ball and Single-A, let’s start teaching the fundamentals of baseball so when they get older they can keep learning from what they learned; say two or three things from t-ball, two or three more things in Single-A, and then it keeps building and then when they get to the middle school and high school those coaches don’t have to teach them the fundamentals.”

Ashwell said the league is not tied to any timeline and could push back the start of the season without hurting anything. Trying to have a season isn’t even about money, this is more important it’s about the kids and the community as a whole.

“If we even have to start July, we could go into the fall; we’re not bound to any timeline,” Ashwell said. “And it’s not like we want to do this to take people’s registration money, that’s the least of our concerns. We want to do this because we want to give these kids an opportunity, this community the opportunity to come back and enjoy baseball.

Ashwell says he hopes Dixie can return to the community and be a thriving part of community life as it once was in Halifax County.

“There’s nothing more I want than to have, especially these older kids that are gonna play, to play on Friday nights and when we can have more than 50 people in a gathering; have a place where these teenagers can come, watch their friends, have a safe place for them to be and hangout and bring the sport back to the community as friends, baseball players … Just give back,” said Ashwell.

“Friday night the Complex used to be packed. I would give anything for that to come back and it’s not something much for us, but if we give them a safe place for people to come and go and fellowship, that would be awesome.

“That would be fantastic and I would love to show the town what we’re giving back to this community, that we’re here for the kids and we’re here for nothing else but the kids.”

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