Grooming little winners
Kim West, Franklin County Times
The Russellville Little League has hosted the District 6 Tournament for the 9-10, 10-11 and 11-12 divisions since June 22, and the last championship game concludes this week.
The well-lit facilities at the pristine Lee Complex have been used to the fullest by the team of volunteers that have run the tournament. Spectators have had plenty of room to root for their favorite team, and the umpires and grounds crew have performed well – without pay – despite the heat and pressure of working games that decide which local teams will advance to the state tournament throughout the tournament.
Concessions have been sold at reasonable prices, especially compared to prices at major league ballparks. And this week, all the proceeds from concession sales went directly back to the Russellville Little League Association, which will use the money to help fund next season.
I have been fortunate to watch teams from all the divisions play, and I was impressed with the level of support for all the teams. I was even more impressed by the sportsmanship shown by the players, coaches and fans who traveled from as far as Tuscaloosa and as nearby as Tuscumbia and Sheffield.
It's not uncommon to hear stories of parents yelling at their kids or berating the officials at youth games. Sadly, youth leagues have been forced to ban fans from even attending games in an attempt to allow kids to enjoy playing a game.
Fortunately, the behavior at the District Tournament has been classy despite the passion of each team's fans. There has been a lot of effort put forth by many people to ensure that these young players will have great memories to look back on, and maybe one day they will be able to do same for their kids.