The Gordon County Parks and Recreation Department hosted the 6-year old Invite Dizzy Dean State Tournament which wrapped up on Tuesday with a winner-take-all championship game.
The tournament was scheduled to be completed on Monday, but due to delays the final game between the Hobgood Storm and Southwest All-Stars was pushed back to Tuesday night at 7 p.m. with Southwest coming out on top, 24-16. Southwest battled back from the loser’s bracket after falling in the second round before winning seven in a row en route to the title.
The tournament featured one local team, the Gordon County All-Stars, but other 19 came from all over the state bringing players, coaches, parents and grandparents to the Calhoun and Gordon County area.
“From what we’ve heard so far from the local area, they saw some increase in business with these visitors here this past weekend,” said Gordon County Parks and Recreation Director Don Holley. “And with us having night games and early morning games, more of the teams stayed overnight here.”
One of the constant stories throughout the tournament was the sweltering heat. Temperatures reached into the 100s on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and was in the 90s on Monday and Tuesday.
“It’s always hot in July, but we were able to see a few days in advance that it was going to be even hotter than normal and we lost a few teams that would’ve been in the tournament because of that,” said Holley. “For the teams that did come, we opened up our gym and rec center to allow the players, coaches and parents get out of the heat and into the air conditioning for a while. That’s a luxury some other places don’t have.
“We also made sure plenty of water was available, and the teams could bring in as many drinks and coolers as they wanted.”
Another benefit of the tournament, which Holley described as very competitive with several one or two-run games, was it was a chance to show off the nice facilities available at the complex.
“We got a lot of positive comments not only on the fields but the area surrounding and the nets between the fields to catch foul balls,” said Holley. “Plus, having the rec center available to everyone was a really received well.
“A lot of places don’t have the great facilities that we do. We know we’re a little spoiled here.”
Holley said the Parks and Rec Department would love the opportunity to host another Dizzy Dean World Series in the future after hosting one in 2011. (The Dizzy Dean World Series is scheduled to be in Southhaven, Miss. for the next three years.)
Local radio station, WEBS, actually broadcasted the semifinal and championship games on Monday and Tuesday, and Holley said there were people who told him they had relatives listening in New York, Pennsylvania and Tennessee, among other places.
This weekend will be just as busy for Holley and his crew of workers, as the Gordon County Parks and Recreation will host a second State Tournament, the Dizzy Dean 13-year-old State Tournament, starting Friday.