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Lott joins Little League

Photo by JULIA V. PENDLEY Roy Smith shows off Dr. A.L. Lott's charter from Little League International during the opening ceremony for the league's fifth season.

Photo by JULIA V. PENDLEY
Roy Smith shows off Dr. A.L. Lott’s charter from Little League International during the opening ceremony for the league’s fifth season.

Dr. A.L. Lott Youth Baseball League officials announced Saturday during its opening day ceremony that it is now a member of Little League International.

Roy Smith, A.L. Lott director, said the program has received its charter through Little League and will be eligible to compete in the district tournament and move all the way to the World Series.

However, Smith said the mission of the league remains the same, to build good character and citizenship.

“We’ve been teaching our children to be gracious losers and humble winners,” he said.

Smith said since the program began five years ago juvenile delinquency, school suspensions, school violence and community violence is down.

“Our program is working,” he said.

Clif Marshall, district administration for Little League Baseball Southwest Region, said the league will be able to send a 9- to 10-year-old group and an 11- to 12-year-old group to the district tournament in Natchez. The winner in the 11- to 12-year-old group will advance to state and so on.

“I’m proud of this, and we’re ready to win a World Series,” Smith said.

Nancy Thompson, a motivational speaker from Greenwood, spoke at the ceremony and encouraged the players and parents to realize that the work is about much more than just baseball.

Parents have the opportunity to encourage studying, prayer and discipline.

“Studying doesn’t just start in school; it starts at home,” Thompson said.