Robesonian

Play Ball: Dixie Youth World Series kicks off with skills competition, opening ceremony

LUMBERTON — Rain is in the forecast for the first week of the Dixie Youth World Series taking place from Friday to Aug. 9 at the Ray Pennington Athletic Complex, but that isn’t going to stop baseball games from being played.

Lumberton Youth Baseball Association Treasurer Bruce Mullis said adjustments will be made to deal with any weather issues that come into play.

“They’ll push games back,” Mullis said. “We’ve got the fields ready. They need to play those games.”

Mullis said depending on how weather patterns are expected to change, games could be moved to earlier times or even different days. In extreme circumstances, World Series games could be played beyond Aug. 9.

For now, everything is set to run as planned.

Festivities at the Dixie Youth World Series will begin on Friday at 3 p.m. Players in the AA tournament, which is for 7- and 8-year-olds, will participate in a skills competition, featuring activities such as a home run derby, baserunnning relay and around-the-horn throw.

“It’s going to be a good competition for them,” LYBA President Tim Locklear said.

The skills competition, which will take place at the complex in Lumberton, will give the athletes a chance to showcase their skills before pool play begins at 10 a.m., on Saturday. Preceding that will be the first of two opening ceremonies on Friday at 7:30 p.m., at the Lumberton High School football field.

Both the football field and baseball fields will be ready to go at that time after two years of planning and months of maintenance work leading up to the World Series.

“We’re ready,” Locklear said. “A lot of hard work has been put in. A lot of last-minute preparations.”

One of those last-minute preparations involved hanging the flags of all 11 teams participating in the Dixie Youth World Series.

It was one of the finishing touches on a project that Mullis said was made possible by the group that founded LYBA in 1995.

“A group of folks like Carey Read, Mike McIntyre, Alan Fowlkes, Susan Walker, Cliff Nance and others had a vision to improve the baseball experience for our youth 23 years ago,” Mullis said.

David Bradley | The Robesonian The Dixie Youth Baseball logo is painted behind home plate at one of the fields at the Ray Pennington Athletic Complex ahead of the Dixie Youth World Series. The action on the field starts on Friday with the AA skills competition at 3 p.m.
https://www.robesonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_download_ne2018726175931757.jpgDavid Bradley | The Robesonian The Dixie Youth Baseball logo is painted behind home plate at one of the fields at the Ray Pennington Athletic Complex ahead of the Dixie Youth World Series. The action on the field starts on Friday with the AA skills competition at 3 p.m.
Dixie Youth World Series kicks off with skills competition, opening ceremony

By Brandon Tester

Staff writer

Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or btester@robesonian.com. Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.