Centre is continuing to host its share of tournaments in baseball and softball. The city hosted a softball tournament June 15-16, and is currently hosting the O-Zone 11-12-year-old baseball district tournament.
On Friday, the Minor League District Tournament comes to town, featuring 13 teams.
“We’re tickled to have all these communities coming into our city,” Centre Parks and Recreation Director Charles Glazner said. “Hopefully it will increase the sales of gas. Restaurants should be full. Hopefully, some will be staying in motels.”
The ripple effects aren’t just coming from an economic level. Glazner said there’s been a growth spurt within the local youth programs as well.
“Our program grew this year tremendously from other communities coming in to play at our facilities,” Glazner said. “I feel like that’s due to everybody seeing our fields, seeing our facilities, seeing our programs and the way they’re run. We had a total of 50 teams in our baseball program this year. Last year we had 42. I think when I came here there were 22 teams, so we’ve increased quite a bit.”
That increase led parks and recreational officials to make the decision to create a new Independent baseball league, in addition to the already established American and National leagues.
Baseball isn’t the only sport to see an increase. Glazner said it’s happened in softball as well.
“We had a total of 28 teams this year, almost double of what we had in the past,” he said. “The whole county is playing at our facility now. It’s helped increase competition, and everything went really well.”
Glazner said district softball tournaments were held in Jacksonville on Saturday, with winners advancing to the state tournament in Winfield July 6-8.
The Hokes Bluff Eagles won the Summer Slam baseball tournament hosted by Spring Garden High School over the weekend. The Eagles defeated Gaston in the championship game 5-4.
The host Panthers advanced to the semifinal round, where they fell to Hokes Bluff 11-1 on Saturday. On Friday, Spring Garden defeated Hokes Bluff 4-0 behind a one-hitter from Grant Benefield. Spring Garden also defeated Saks 5-1 on Friday behind Will Penton's two-hitter.
The Gaylesville Trojans also participated in the tournament. They fell 11-1 to Gaston and 3-2 to the newly-formed Clay Central on Friday. The Trojans also lost to Saks 6-3 on Saturday.
Former Cherokee County and Jacksonville State football standout Maurice Dupree, now playing for the Columbus, Ga. Lions of the Professional Indoor Football League, was unanimously named to the All-PIFL First Team on Thursday. He was one of five Lion players to earn league honors.
The 5-foot-10, 190-pound receiver led the league in points scored (242), touchdown receptions (40) and receiving yards (1,278 yards). Dupree also finished second overall in all-purpose yards despite not having one kick return to his credit.
Dupree and the Lions' season came to an end on Saturday in the first round of the league playoffs against Albany, 60-36. The Lions finished the year at 6-7.
The City of Centre is accepting swim lesson session 3 registrations, which begin on July 9. Session 3 includes a class for 3-year-olds, as well as a class for adults wishing to learn to swim.
The City of Centre pool is located behind Fort McClellan Credit Union. Class size is limited and based on a first paid, first served basis.
Registration forms are available at Centre City Hall on Main Street or at the pool. The pool is open to the public seven days a week from noon to 5 p.m.