Elba Rec at work

Elba Parks and Recreation employees were busy at work earlier this week preparing fields at Hawkins-Williams Park for the Dixie Youth Baseball 10U and 12U tourneys set to begin Thursday afternoon in Elba. Elba will be hosting both local district tourneys for Division II with 13 different teams combined set to compete. Above, the employees are shown placing a portable pitching mound on the field. After Elba was asked to host both tournaments at Hawkins-Williams Park, Elba Parks and Rec grounds/facilities manager Adam Spicer constructed to portable pitching mounds to accommodate the events.

The Elba Parks and Recreation plays host beginning today [Thursday, June 9], to Dixie Youth Baseball Division II teams for 10U Boys and 12U Boys competing in their District Tournament.

Elba Parks and Recreation director Greg Hanchey said his team has been preparing for this moment for months after Dixie Youth officials approached him around the beginning of the year about the possibility of Elba hosting two district tournaments at its Hawkins-Williams Park facility. He said Elba hosted a district tourney at the park last year, and the Dixie Youth folks were very impressed with the fields and overall condition of Hawkins-Williams Park, and they decided to ask Elba if it would be willing to host two tourneys this year.

“It speaks highly of the efforts Elba is putting into its recreation facilities to be asked to host two tournaments at the same time,” Hanchey said. “It means a lot of work for our folks, but it also brings big rewards to our city to be able to pull it off, and host lots of visitors here in Elba.”

Both tournaments being Thursday afternoon at Hawkins-Williams Park with games scheduled on Thursday for 4 p.m.; 6 p.m.; and 8 p.m. Games also are scheduled for Friday [June 10], Saturday [June 11], and Monday [June 13].

The Dixie Youth Baseball 10U tournament for Division II will be a six-team double-elimination event. The teams participating in this tournament include: Coffee County [comprised of players from Elba and New Brockton], Hartford, Zion Chapel, Geneva, Kinston, and Slocomb.

The Dixie Youth Baseball 12U tournament for Division II will be a seven-team double elimination event. The teams participating in this tournament include: Coffee County’s Elba Americans, Coffee County’s New Brockton Nationals, Kinston, Geneva, Samson, Hartford, and Zion Chapel.

“Between Thursday and Monday, there will be lots of visitors coming to Elba, and we are excited to be their host for these baseball tournaments,” Hanchey said. “While in Elba, we hope the baseball fans will visit some of our other businesses like restaurants, retail and convenient stores, as well as, maybe utilize some of our other recreation facilities such as the Splash Pad and Tiger Town Park.”

Elba Chamber of Commerce director Sandy Williams said events such as these Dixie Youth baseball tournaments are positive things for the community.

“When youth are participating in competitive events, we find you often have not just mom and dad, but grandparents and siblings who come into town as well,” Williams said. “So, we are seeing an increase in families coming into our area. One of the selling points is Elba is a family-friendly destination. It gives families an opportunity to not just be at their event during the day but be off site and experience shopping and dining and other fun things to do in our city.”

Both Hanchey and Williams said they are excited to see the impacts these tournaments will bring to Elba regarding increased business for local merchants, but they also are excited to share with others the many things Elba has to offer beyond its businesses.

The top two teams from the district tourneys will advance to the Dixie Youth Baseball State Tournament set for July.

Hanchey said admission prices for the district tourneys in Elba will be $6 on Thursday with one dollar of that going to the Dixie Youth Scholarship Fund. Admission for the remaining days of the tournament will be $5 per person. This allows the attendee to watch baseball action for both the 10U and 12U tourneys.

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