Youth, parents celebrate return to ballpark

The Dixie Youth baseball program at Phil Campbell is about halfway into a shortened season – and that’s better than nothing, according to anyone involved.

“League ball is going really well,” said Phil Campbell league director Jamie Duboise. “Everyone is happy to be back to playing baseball. We’ve had to clean and sanitize more and close our bleachers, but everyone has worked with us and made it easy.

“I’m so glad we were able to give the kids a little sense of normalcy with all that’s going on around them.”

Jamie’s son, Miles, who plays on Phil Campbell’s team, said he is just enjoying being around his friends again. “I’m really happy to be back playing and even more excited to see my friends,” the younger Duboise said.

Players from Belgreen are also participating in the league this summer and echoed Duboise’s sentiments.

“It’s great to be out there playing, getting to be with my teammates and trying to hit a rope,” said Belgreen’s Ty Hamilton. “I love it. I love everything about baseball – the hitting, the pitching and being outside.”

Hamilton’s teammate Carter Raney said he is glad to be out of the house and winning.

“It’s great to be able to play baseball again with my friends after being in quarantine,” he said.

Christy Nix has two sons, Tripp and Bailey, who play on Phil Campbell’s teams. She said she is just glad the youth have been able to have a chance to play.

“My boys were excited about baseball when they signed up in February,” said Nix. “They were practicing in the cold and rain before the coronavirus shook things up. We were very disappointed when it didn’t look like we were going to get to play at all.

“We were lucky our Dixie Youth program was able to get going again, even if it is a shortened season. Both my sons were just excited to be able to play with no pressure.”