• 77°

Baseball complex to host spring ball

The Lincoln Civic Center Baseball Complex is on schedule to host Dixie Youth games in April.

Registration for Dixie Youth Baseball will begin Feb. 1 and run through March 12. The program will consist of the following age divisions: 7- and 8-year-old, 9- and 10-year-old, 11- and 12-year-old and 13- and 14-year old. The appropriate league age is determined by the player’s age on May 1.

Quinn Jordan

Quinn Jordan

Quinn Jordan, manager of the Lincoln Civic Center, said the 13- and 14-year-old league was previously known as pony league and will require a four-team minimum to be played.

“The 13- and 14-year league is kind of a new league that we are bringing back,” Jordan said. “What had happened is that a lot of kids that didn’t go on and play junior high ball, we were losing them in the system. We wanted to keep them in an organized sport, and so we offered the 13- and 14-year-old league for those kids that are not playing junior high ball or that are playing junior high ball, but just want to get some ball in while they’re learning the ropes at their high school organization.”

A registration fee of $85 and a copy of each player’s birth certificate will be required. Registration forms can be picked up at Stewarts Sports and Hobie’s Sports during regular business hours, as well as the Lincoln Civic Center Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. or on the Lincoln Civic Center website, lincolnciviccenter.com. All completed forms along with the registration fee and birth certificate should be dropped off at the Lincoln Civic Center. Several Saturday sign-up days will be announced at a later date.

Jordan said the registration fee has been dropped from $100 to $85 in order to allow more children to participate.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to allow all kids within Lincoln County the opportunity to play organized baseball on a complex that is second to none in the state of Mississippi, while keeping the entry fee as economical as possible so that no kid is not afforded that opportunity,” Jordan said.

All regularly scheduled games will be played on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at the new, five-field Lincoln Civic Center Baseball Complex located at 1120 Beltline Road next to Hansel King Sports Complex. A jamboree and league play are currently scheduled to begin the first of April.

“We have built a five-field complex,” Jordan said. “Four of the fields are 220 feet long, and the fifth is 300 to center with an 8-foot fence. We will play the majority of our 7- and 8-year-old, 9- and 10-year-old and 11- and 12-year-old ball on those four fields, but the fifth field, being the 300-foot field, is where we’re going to bring back the pony league. We also would like to offer an invitation to our high school coaches to play regional ball here at our location.”

Eric Ates has been hired as the new baseball manager, Jordan said.

“Eric comes to us after a 10-year stay at the Mississippi Fairgrounds and then before that he kind of helped get the Mississippi Braves receiving and delivery up and going when they started their program in their inaugural year,” Jordan said. “Eric is a Lincoln County resident and looks forward to taking on this position for many years to come.”

Coaches, field and team sponsorships, volunteer and seasonal employment opportunities are still available.

“We’re actively seeking concession workers, score keepers, field sponsors and team sponsors, as well as coaches and umpires,” Jordan said. “For more information check the website or call the Lincoln Civic Center at 601-823-9064 and we’ll get you in touch with the appropriate parties.”

The Dixie Youth Baseball franchise will be exclusively under the management umbrella of the Lincoln Civic Center with the day-to-day operations being led by Ates. There is also a new five-member volunteer baseball committee advisory board appointed by the Lincoln Civic Center Commissioners that will work in concert with the Ates on establishing policies, rules and regulations under which the baseball program will operate.

Jordan said the baseball complex will have a positive economic impact on Lincoln County.

“I would say its one of the biggest economic impact opportunities we’ve had in years here in Lincoln County,” Jordan said. “We’re going to bring in a lot of funds and a lot of opportunity, and that’s what we’re here to do. We first owe it, as leaders of the community, you owe a debt to your citizens, but also then you owe your citizens a chance to get some return on that investment and we want to do that with the complex.”

The Lincoln County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution to issue up to $2,500,000 in general obligation bonds for the building and equipping of the recreational centers, stadiums and parks in August 2015