Leaders seek ball program betterment

Published 5:00 am Thursday, June 8, 2006

City officials and coaches are optimistic that grievances overthe lack of uniforms for players in the Dr. A.L. Lott Little LeagueBaseball Program can be addressed following a special meetingWednesday.

Wedneday’s meeting between coaches, city and recreationaldepartment officials focused on the need for improvements invarious aspects of the program.

“We were distressed to hear that it has gone down in number andwe want to pump life back into that program,” said Mayor BobMassengill, alluding to declining participation totals.

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The meeting was suggested by Massengill at Tuesday’s board ofaldermen meeting where concerned coaches and parents addressedofficials about the lack of uniforms for players and the decreaseof participation.

“We had a roundtable discussion and let the people say what wason their hearts and minds,” Massengill said.

The purpose of the meeting was to bring resolution to the issuesaired at the council meeting. With three weeks left in this season,discussion looked at ways to improve next year’s program.

“We committed ourselves to enhancing the program at Dr. A.L.Lott and hopefully increase the number of participants,” said WoodyBreeland, president of the Brookhaven Parks Commission, whichoversees city recreational activities.

Discussion also took place on how to motivate people tovolunteer as coaches and to encourage early registration.

“We would like to get started earlier. We hope to get everyonesigned up earlier so we can order uniforms and roster teams by lateMarch early April,” Breeland said. “We would like to begin play bylate April.”

McNair Smith, a coach with the Dr. A.L. Lott Little LeagueBaseball Program, was pleased with the meeting’s results.

“We got a better understanding of what we need to do to make thechildren first priority,” Smith said. “If we get parents, thecommunity, and the recreational department involved, we can makethis work.”

Organization and communication will be the key to improving thebaseball program and all parties have agreed to make necessarychanges.

“We are going to try to insure that there is a good line ofcommunication and that we have just as many children involved aspossible,” Massengill said.