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Rec. leaders tout plans for better Lott program

The second in a series of meetings for friends of the Dr. A.L.Lott Baseball Program was held Thursday night to impart furtherknowledge about plans for the upcoming season.

Recreation Department Director Terry Reid and Program SupervisorValerie Moore spoke to a group of about 20 people on issues ofcoaching, scheduling, scholarships and the draft.

“This year we’re going to organize the ages during the draft totry to level the teams out a little, just to make the teams morecompetitive,” Reid said.

Scholarships are available for children who are financiallyunable to meet the sign-up fee, but Reid stressed the need forparents to come to the department and let him know.

“All you have to do is speak up,” he said. “It’s not going anyfurther than you and me. But I have to have it in writing that youcan’t afford it so I can find the funds for you. And all this is soyour kid can play.”

Reid said so far a few children had already registered. They maysign up until March 16, at which point registration will beclosed.

“We’ll have people calling March 17 and 18 – even the 20th,wanting to know ‘Can I sign my kid up?'” said Moore. “But we’ve gotto have these in by the 16th.”

Another issue in addition to the sign-up dates was that of theoptional insurance issued to children and coaches involved withA.L. Lott baseball.

“If you don’t have insurance and you’ve got a kid who’s playing,this is a great idea because for $9 you’re covered from the timeyou leave home to go to the baseball field to the time you go backhome,” said Reid.

The insurance is also offered to the officials if they take thecertification test, so Reid asked that officials be compliant oncertification courses.

Ward Five Alderman D.W. Maxwell urged the group to continue totry to enlist not only good officials, but good coaches aswell.

“The key to this is good coaches,” he said. “Good coachesattract good kids, and to get participation up, we have to haveboth.”

Terry Bates, Ward Two alderman, said the organization so farthis year has been positive, and predicted good things for theseason.

“I’m proud of the leaders and the board,” he said. “We’re hopingfor a better year this year, and we’re looking forward to it.”

Moore outlined a project to recruit both coaches and children byputting flyers in the local churches, as well as visiting localschools. She plans to speak to groups at Brookhaven Elementary andLipsey School on Feb. 20-23, and to go on to Martin Elementary andAlexander Junior High on Feb. 26-28.

The official draft will be held March 26 at 6:30 p.m. at therecreation department and coaches must be present. The season runsfrom May 1 to June 28.