Thanks to those who made tournament a success

Published 8:26 pm Friday, July 17, 2009

Dear Editor:

For the second consecutive year, Demopolis and Marengo County recently hosted a state baseball tournament that continued to cast a favorable light on the “City of the People.”

The Cal Ripkin 10U State Tournament brought in approximately 500 people from all over our state to stay at our hotels, eat at our restaurants, shop at our stores and play baseball at some wonderful facilities.

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I would like to thank Mark Pettus, Walker Reynolds and Kevin May for their support in preparing the fields and maintaining them during this tournament.

I wish I could share verbatim every response that I received expressing how much people enjoyed our city, our facilities and their stay here in Demopolis. Some didn’t even know where Demopolis was located or what to expect when they arrived, but all left with a positive reflection of our community.

A tournament of this magnitude doesn’t just happen because “the stars were aligned.” It happens for a multitude of reasons.

First of all, it took a vision to build a Sportsplex second to none (I have personally seen other facilities as many of you have and we don’t take a backseat to anyone). Secondly, the infrastructure now supports large tournaments whereby we have the hotels and restaurants that retain our visitors in lieu of them going out of town to stay or spend their money. Finally, it took the dedication and commitment of a number of people to make it happen. Rob Pearson was instrumental in this endeavor as the District 10 Commissioner. It also could not have been successful without others sacrificing personal time to support our youth.

Thanks to Charles Singleton for all he did managing the gate and keeping our money straight and Luke Hallmark and his support staff of umpires for managing the games.

Thanks to all the PA announcers/scoreboard operators/scorekeepers, including Jason and Rachel Burke, Hugh Overmyer, Jim Gardner and Dereck Morrison and Scott Parten.

Thanks to Lindy Long from Butler, to Scott Dees and Joe Frost of Gilbertown, Jimmy Ritchie from Greensboro and Jeremy Barkley and Jason Broadhead from Linden.

Thanks to all the parents of the Demopolis All-Stars for your work in making the banquet a huge success, and Chris Cameron and Sonny’s BBQ for preparing the food.

Thanks to Mayor Mike Grayson for his opening comments at our banquet and the City for allowing us to use the Civic Center for the banquet.

Thanks to all the merchants that provided door prizes at the banquet.

Finally. thanks to my lovely wife, Kaye, for her patience and understanding and support during this tournament.

For all of the above reasons, we continue to impress visitors with our friendliness and hospitality and facilities.

I am happy to announce that we have been selected once again to host a state tournament. Next year, we will host the Babe Ruth 13U Baseball tournament.

Art Evans

Tournament Director