Hillcrest Park Earns Rave Reviews
According to Dixie Youth Baseball’s top brass, the Moore County Parks and Recreation Department did a bang-up job preparing Hillcrest Park for two national championships.
Carthage hosted this year’s 2011 Dixie Youth Baseball (DYB) World Series.
The World Series is really two tournaments, including a 12-team AAA championship for 9-10-year-old teams and a 12-team Majors tournament for 11-12-year-olds.
P.L. Corley, from Montgomery, Ala., is the current DYB president.
“I have been with the organization 30 years, serving as president for the past five,” Corley said, “and I can say with confidence Moore County did an absolutely outstanding job in preparing for this event.
“I can’t find a negative anywhere about the job they did. The fields are great, the press box is sizable and well-equipped — it’s all top-notch here.”
Overall, there were 55 games played in the 2011 DYB World Series on the four fields at Hillcrest Park over the span of the six days.
“What I will remember about this year’s 2011 (Majors and AAA) World Series is the excellent play and the good sportsmanship between (all) the teams,” said Corley. “More so we had smooth sailings even though the rains hit us pretty hard the first day — so it has been a true pleasure to be here this week for the tournaments at Hillcrest Park in Carthage.”
Planning for the series was a two-year process, according to Moore County Parks and Recreation Director Billy Ransom, which started once it was officially announced that Carthage’s Hillcrest Park would play host to the annual event.
Prior to its start, Ransom and other county officials were excited to showcase Moore County to the baseball world. It was the first time North Carolina hosted the tournament in 25 years, as 22 championship teams from 11 Southeastern states descended upon Hillcrest Park.
As the host site, Moore County had a team automatically qualify for each tournament/division, bringing the number of squads competing to 24.
“In the community as a whole, people were really supportive of this,” he said. “The local response was just amazing.”
Ultimately, West Seminole — the Florida AAA state champion team — claimed the 2011 AAA DYB World Series title with an 11-1 win over Arkansas. The squad went 6-0 on the road to claiming the title, combining to outscore its opponents by a grand total of 83-9.
Just after the AAA awards ceremony concluded and Florida hoisted the trophy, DYB Vice President Johnny Berthelot lauded the Moore County crew responsible for readying Hillcrest Park to host the national event.
“Just to let you know my community — Gonzales, La., — had the world series last year,” said Berthelot. “So I know how much time and effort it takes to put on one successfully and I can promise you that Moore County did a fantastic job.
“They (Moore County) have been coming to our world series for the past few years and all the people involved here have been more than nice, they went beyond the call of duty — from the field preparation and maintenance of the fields, to hospitality and the press box people — just everybody.
“Everything has been first class. I did not think anybody could match our community but Moore County did it up right. I don’t think anybody that came to this world series will leave disappointed.
“It’s been that kind (of event), and I can admit that we have had some that have not been as good as others, but Moore County ranks among the best.”
Contact F.W. Manning at firstname.lastname@example.org
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