The Dixie Youth AA (8-year-old) Coach Pitch/Machine Pitch World Series will be held in Cleveland at the end of July.
The opening ceremonies will be on July 28 at Tim and Nancy Harvey Stadium at Dave “Boo” Ferriss Field. The tournament will begin on July 29 at Bear Per Pen Park and will conclude on Aug. 1. There will be 24 totals teams from 11 states in the event.
With the World Series only seven weeks away, the City of Cleveland has been working hard in preparation for the tournament.
Cleveland Park Commission Director Stephen Glorioso said everyone from his staff to the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce has done an outstanding job.
“Judson Thigpen, Diane Makamson and Bennett Crow have been wonderful and worked very, very hard,” Glorioso said. “They have done everything and anything to help get volunteers and everything else. They have been absolutely wonderful and supportive.
“From our side, once league ball is over and once the (Brett) McClendon Tournament is through after next Saturday and Sunday, we’re going to start our preparations,” Glorioso added. “We’re adding dirt, putting infield material and putting temporary fencing up that we’re borrowing from Laurel Jones County because they used the same fence as ours last year. We’re cutting grass, if not daily, every other day. ”
In recent years, Cleveland hosted the Dixie Youth AA Region III Coach Pitch/Machine Pitch National Regional in 2011, the Dixie Youth O Zone Baseball World Series in 2012, the Dixie Youth 7-year-old Coach Pitch State Tournament in 2013, the Dixie Youth 7-year-old Coach Pitch State Tournament and the Dixie Boys 14-year-old State Baseball Tournament in 2015 and the Dixie Youth 6-year-old Coach Pitch/T-Ball State Tournament last year.
Glorioso said his staff has the experience to get the job done for the World Series.
“Tony (Wince), Shane (Henderson), Dreifus (Randle) know what to do,” Glorioso said. “They know what the task at hand is. You not only want to get your field ready, you want to get the town ready for what’s going on. We’re going to put our heart and souls and sweat and everything else into making those fields at Bear Pen Park look absolutely beautiful.”
One thing all big tournaments need is volunteer help. Tournaments need volunteers to help with anything from selling souvenirs to selling tickets at the admissions gate.
Bennett Crow, Chairperson for the World Series, said there are plenty of spots still left for volunteers.
“We’ve got so many teams and so many states that are going to be here coming into our community,” Crow said. “We’re looking for volunteers for Saturday and Sunday particularly. The main day, the huge day, is Saturday. We have Saturday, Sunday and Monday where we need volunteer work as well, just any support that people in the town can give us. If you can give us an hour, we would love to have that. It’s progressing now and I think we’re making some progress with volunteer work currently. This is a big tournament and a big win for our community.”
All-Stars for coach pitch will be selected next week. Anyone interested in helping out as a volunteer can call Aimee Taylor at the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce at (662)-843-2712.