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Registration starts for Dixie baseball

Birds are singing and the sun in shining. After a long, coldwinter, it must be time for baseball and softball.

Lincoln County Youth Sports Commissioner Weldon Smith announcedtoday that registration for Dixie Youth and Dixie Boys BaseballLeagues will be held four consecutive Saturdays at the Bank ofFranklin building located on the corner of Highway 51 and BrookwayBoulevard, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Age groups include Dixie Youth age 7-8 (AA, coach/pitch), 9-10(AAA) and 11-12 (Major League); plus 13-14, Dixie Boys.

The registration fee is $100 per player. That fee coversinsurance and a complete uniform for each player; with theexception of shoes, gloves and bats.

Smith said the league draft will be held the last week of March.Practice begins April 1. The league’s all-day jamboree is Saturday,April 16. Regular season play begins Monday, April 18, at 6 p.m.,on Lofton Field and all three Keystone Fields.

Most of the regular-season play concludes around June 1. Leaguetournaments and all-star team action continues for another fiveweeks, depending on the success level of the teams.

Last year, 43 teams were represented in the Lincoln competition,including seven Dixie Boys school teams. Smith said players notaffiliated with a school team will be able to participate.

He said over 450 youngsters took part in last year’s activities.”Our goal is 500 players.”

In other words, that’s a lot of bubblegum, candy soft drinks,popcorn, chips, dill pickles, hotdogs and hamburgers that theconcession stands will provide. Players, parents, fans and friendsdo get hungry watching baseball games.

For more information, contact Smith at 601-757-5855.

Area basketball teams hitched their dreams to a star this weekafter winning games in the opening round of the South Mississippiplayoffs. They need at least two more wins this week to reach theBig House, a.k.a. Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson.

Basketball fans can enjoy South tournaments in the area as BogueChitto hosts 1A girls, West Lincoln hosts 1A boys and LawrenceCounty hosts 4A girls. Four games are on tap today at eachlocation, starting at 4 p.m.

Admission is $8 per session. Personal checks are accepted.

The West Lincoln Bears (27-0) are the only unbeaten boys teamremaining in Mississippi. Not sure about the number of unbeatengirls but Leake Academy’s Lady Rebels are 39-0.

For sure, West Lincoln will faces its strongest competition ofthe season, starting Thursday. Coach Lane Young’s Bears willencounter tougher defense and stronger offense from the likes ofDurant, South Leake and McAdams. The Bears battle South Leaketonight at 7.

The Bears are aiming for their first state title since 1982 whenJack Case coached the team to back-to-back crowns. West Lincoln’sgym was named in honor of Case.

Bogue Chitto’s Lady Cats (28-1), coached by Christi Terrell,hope this year is the charm. Last year, the luck of the drawknocked them out of a state tournament appearance.

The Lady Cats tackle East Oktibbeha tonight at 7.

Coach Vicki Rutland’s LCHS Lady Cougars needed overtime to beatBay St. Louis Monday night in the opening round of the South 4Aplayoffs. They’ll have the home court advantage again today whenthey face Quitman at 4 p.m.

Both Franklin County teams and the Hazlehurst boys are stillalive in South 3A. The FCHS girls, coached by Charles Moore, are atChoctaw Central in Philadelphia to play Southeast Lauderdale at 7p.m.

The Franklin County boys, coached by Chris Jordan, are at KemperCounty in DeKalb today and meet Choctaw Central at 4 p.m. CoachReggie McGee’s Hazlehurst Indians tackle Kemper County tonight at7. Jefferson County plays Velma Jackson at 5:30.

Large crowds are expected at Brookhaven Academy’s John R. GrayGymnasium for the MAIS Class AA State Tournament that runs throughSaturday. Coach Barry Gray’s BA Lady Cougars (27-3) meet SimpsonCounty Academy today at 5:15 in the quarterfinals after winningSouth AA last Saturday.

Friday’s semifinals and finals Saturday’s finals are splitsessions to help accommodate the large volume of fans. Girls playat 1 and 2:15 p.m. Boys are at 6 and & 7:15.

Local restaurants, motels and retail businesses will benefitfrom their large influx of followers.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz, c/o The DAILY LEADER, P.O.BOX 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602 or e-mailsports@dailyleader.com