Dixie Youth baseball set to open April 1
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle Dixie Baseball League is scheduled to open its season Saturday, April 1, with 482 boys between the ages of five and 14 signed up to participate. The number of players will rise above 500 when a Majors/Pre-Majors division, which caters to 15, 16 and 17-year-olds, starts up after junior varsity and varsity seasons end.
"We're excited about getting started again," said Johnny Hall who is entering his fifth year as league president. "The facilities are in great shape, we're in good shape financially and the coaches and players are ready to go. We're looking forward to an exciting and fun-filled season."
Opening day games will begin at 10 a.m. with the playing of the national anthem and the introduction of each team member and coach. Morgan County Sheriff Greg Bartlett has been invited to throw out the first ball for the 11-12 Majors Division.
Weather permitting, games are played Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Makeup games are scheduled on Fridays. The season will end on or about June 10. In the postseason, Hartselle will host a district tournament for the 13-14 division. Locations of tournaments for other divisions will be announced later.
League divisions, number of players and teams and vice presidents are listed as follows: 13-14 Dixie Boys-54 players, five teams, Greg Boggs, VP; 11-12 Dixie Majors-67 players, six teams, Kevin Harris, VP; 9-10 Dixie Youth AAA -Trevor Padgett, VP; 7-8 Dixie Youth AA, 132 players, 11 teams, Dewayne Peebles, VP; 5-6 Dixie Youth A-114 players, 10 teams, Lisa Demastus, VP.
Serving with Hall as league officers are Leigh Ann Wilhite, secretary; Cooper Rhodes, treasurer; Rhonda Chaney, Mothers Auxiliary president; Suzanne Anders, players representative; and Kerry Bullard, equipment manager.
The 13-14 division will play an integrated schedule with eight teams from Decatur, two teams from Brewer and one each from Danville and Priceville. The 15-18 division will play home and away games with teams from several North Alabama localities.
"We take pride in having one of the best Dixie Baseball leagues in Alabama," Hall said. "Because we have a high level of parent and community involvement and are strong financially we are able to contribute $20,000 to $25,000 each year for improvements to our facilities. We also provide game balls, catcher's equipment and pay the umpires, scorekeepers and concession workers."