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Dixie Youth promotes baseball, sportsmanship

By Bernie Moussad

For the FCT


“That was toast!” shouted one young player after his teammate was able to tag one last player to achieve the third out and get his team back at bat. For many, Dixie Youth baseball is quite an incredible sport to experience.

Currently headed by Mary Scofield, Dixie Youth has approximately 170 kids participating. According to Scofield, it allows the children to get “socialization and exercise.” Her son, Michael Scofield, 10, who is currently on the 10U All-Star team Pink Digi Camo, has been playing some form of baseball for nine years. He got involved through his dad.

There are four leagues: 6U, 8U, 10U and 12U. Dixie Youth not only involves children from the area but also from places such as Winfield and Haleyville.

Parents said they really enjoy the companionship and the joy these children receive from playing this sport. Many of them have been playing together since the days of Tiny Tykes T-Ball. Matthew Reed, a parent of one of the players, has been an assistant coach in this program for the past three to four years. His son was his reason for his involvement.

He said he likes the fact the children are active. “It keeps them out of their rooms … (and) makes them do something active,” he said. He also said he likes the discipline the children learn while playing. It “makes them responsible for their actions,” he said. “Each player has a role while on that field, and it takes all of them working together to win the game. If one person doesn’t do his job, it could hurt the whole team.”

There’s more to being a coach than just coaching. Tyler Malone, who assists the teams, said he believes that “as long as I can make a difference in their lives, then it’s worth it.” That’s another great aspect of this program. Children are influenced by adults in their daily lives, and if they are influenced by someone who tries to teach them good morals and behaviors, then they will hopefully grow up in that same behavior.

Dixie Youth baseball is truly more than just children playing baseball on a field; it’s an influence on who they’ll grow up to be. The hopes of many of the coaches and parents is that they will grow to be well-behaved young men who will positively influence the next generation of Dixie Youth players.