The Dawson County Parks and Recreation Department celebrated the opening day of its spring sports season with a massive gathering of youth teams and their families at the Rock Creek Sports Complex March 23.
Dawson County Programs Coordinator Buffie Hamil explained that the event was designed as an exhibition of the spring sports programs and a way to introduce 62 of this season’s 63 park and rec teams to the community as a whole.
“We have seen a tremendous amount of growth this year, especially in our instructional t-ball league which has grown from eight to 12 teams,” Hamil said. “This will be the only time all the teams are together this year and we just want everyone to have the experience.”
In addition to the 12 instructional t-ball teams, the day featured 12 t-ball teams, nine softball teams, eight volleyball teams, and an amazing 21 youth baseball teams all ranging in age from three to 14 and all playing in living in the local community.
“This is usually the kids’ first introduction to a sport,” Hamil said. “All the way up to middle school where most of them will go on to play.”
The primary purpose of the day seemed more social in nature as kids raced between a series of giant-inflatable play houses that ranged from a tall double slide, to a rugged looking camouflage bouncy truck. Teams stood patiently in line as they posed for group and individual photos, while parents and coaches discussed upcoming schedules and strategies.
As an exhibition event, the day featured a wide slate of games in the early afternoon as action took place on almost every playing surface of Rock Creek Park, but the emphasis remained on fun as no scores were kept and the games had no impact on the regular season.
“It gives us a chance to see where the kids are,” 8U Blue Tigers Assistant Coach Kevin Robinson said. “Haven’t had that many practices this year, but everybody went through that with Mother Nature.”
Looking out over one of the largest crowds to have gathered in the facility during his eight months on the job Dawson County Parks and Recreation Director Matt Payne couldn’t contain his excitement in being a part of Dawson County sports.
“This is a big community day and a big day for the community,” Payne said. “This is the kind of day that really brings back that small-town atmosphere.”
For more information on springs sports or any of the many programs available at Dawson County Parks and Rec visit www.dawsoncounty.org or call (706)344-3646.