Committee forms to govern new complex

Published 10:36 am Friday, March 13, 2015

With a new baseball complex project underway, a committee has been formed to ensure tournament and league play are fair to all.

During a recent Brookhaven Board of Aldermen meeting, Wayne Kimble announced that league and tournament play at the new sports complex will be managed by three residents, McNair Smith, Dustin Walker and Beck Warren, who volunteered to help with the project.

“We’re working hard to work across geographical areas in planning,” Smith said. He said they aren’t favoring one particular league or group over the other when it comes to planning. “Everybody will have a part in paying for it, and we want everybody to be able to play.”

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Smith said the committee is developing rules for travel tournaments, league tournaments and invitation tournaments, all of which they hope will drive visitor dollars to the county and city.

“This’ll be a positive for local merchants, a positive for local hotels and a positive for all those that are able to participate,” Walker said. “I’m from Brookhaven, I love Brookhaven, and I believe young children should have the opportunity to play on a safe field and to have same the opportunities as other communities.”

Walker said he sees it as a big step forward for economic development as well as something that could bring the community together.

“There are people from all parts of the area that are brought together by sports,” Walker said. “When your team is winning, everybody jumps on board for support.”

In hopes of bringing together people in the community the facility will also house a scholarship program that will assist children who can’t afford the expenses associated with playing on the fields.

“We understand a lot of parents cannot afford to put children in [Dixie Youth] league but want to see their children play in the league,” Smith said.

Smith said he wants it so that “if a person doesn’t play it’s not because they didn’t have the money or opportunity to play. If you’re going to do baseball, you have to do it right.”

Bill Sones and Brad Boerner were cited as helping plan the scholarship program during the board meeting. Smith said he hopes this allows any child who wants to be a part of the league to have the opportunity to do so.

“If we discriminate, we will have failed before we even got started,” Smith said.