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PLAY BALL

South Boston News
SoVaNow.com / July 09, 2020


Halifax County Dixie Youth baseball had set July 6 as the date for kids to hit the fields once again and on Monday night the games began.

Dixie baseball and softball like other sports organizations had delayed the opening of the spring season due to the novel coronavirus.

Softball started play last week and by all accounts early season play has been a success.

The organization had always set a goal of returning kids to the field as soon as was safely possible. Now that Virginia is in Phase-3 allowing larger numbers for group gatherings the season looks to be a good one.

League president David Ashwell said it was the efforts of the entire executive board, coaches, players and parents that enabled them to have a ball season. He really stressed the commitment the board had to making baseball and softball possible – in a safe manner - in Halifax County during a time of COVID-19

Participation has been high with Dixie baseball supporting multiple teams including ages 13-18, Ozone teams, minor league teams, AA and single-A teams. T-ball participation is very high this year Participation numbers hover around 500 kids.

Ashwell noted that the kids are really just playing sand-lot ball with umpires. He said reading some of the comments on the league’s Facebook page helped him to understand just how much parents are appreciating their kids being able to play.

“Just seeing the kids back playing and people in the stands … that’s the best part,” Ashwell said. “It’s extremely good just to see the kids interacting. They don’t even have uniforms yet but they’re having fun.

The league is finalizing its schedule and Ashwell said that would be posted to the website in the coming days. The organization also has a team from Mecklenburg County that will be playing this season. Both Clarksville Dixie and South Hill Dixie have had seasons on hold also so neighboring county fans will get to enjoy their kids playing ball.

He said watching the coaches, “You can tell they are doing it for the love of it.” Some teams were using pick up players from other teams – saying that was good because it allowed kids to learn positions they don’t normally play. Pick up players play in the outfield so regular team members always have first opportunity to batter-up.

Ashwell also said that the Complex and Cluster Springs are hosting a ball tournament this weekend that has approximately 40 teams in competition. He said it was just good to see the community being able to come out and enjoy themselves.

“Just being able to see and be a part of this makes me super excited for the kids and the community,” Ashwell said

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