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From the Sidelines: Events should be great boost for Demopolis

In case you have been living under a rock or are just otherwise not hip to the fact, Demopolis is officially a sports town.

That observation probably comes as a shock to no one as the city has long made the most of facilities such as the Sports-Plex and The Ravine.

But has the fact ever really been more apparent than it is now?

Think about it. Over the last two years, Demopolis has played host to state tournaments for both Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth baseball leagues. The city has wom a state high school baseball championship within the last six years and has recently added a second state football title to its collection.

Moreover, the completion of the new athletic facilities at Demopolis High School further reiterates the City of the People’s emphasis on its young people.

Consider this. Demopolis High School has programs for volleyball, football, boys basketball, girls basketball, soccer, golf, tennis, baseball, softball and track and field.

Now, the school is putting the finishing touches on its goal to have facilities for each of those teams.

But, if there was any doubt that this town thrives on its athletics, those misgivings can be laid to rest with the announcements of Monday and Tuesday.

Monday, District 10 Babe Ruth Commissioner Rob Pearson made it known that Demopolis will not only play host to the 13U Babe Ruth state tournament in July, but will also be the site of the 14U Babe Ruth Southeast Regional Tournament in August.

That means that the city will not only get an added economic boost from the extra tournament, but it will also be on display for visitors from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

And, as if Demopolis weren’t already going to be getting more than its share of extra attention, Tuesday’s Demopolis City Schools Board of Education meeting put the finishing touches on the initiative that will bring the University of West Alabama Tigers to Demopolis for their first football game of 2010.

Not only will that provide a little financial kick and again open the city up to outside visitors, but the UWA contest will also further the relationship between the university and a nearby city that gives it considerable support.

The fortifying of that relationship could be a major thing down the line as Demopolis already has a number of students at UWA, including one on the football team. And if the DHS Tigers keep developing players and winning games, that number could increase rapidly.

Either way, all of that adds up to verify what most already knew; Demopolis is a city that absolutely loves its athletics and has figured out a number of ways to cash in considerably on that passion.

Jeremy D. Smith is the sports editor for The Demopolis Times.