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Recreation: With construction under way parks turn attention to tournaments

By Jackie R. Broach
Coastal Observer

Eight Oaks Park in Georgetown is more than halfway finished and should be ready in plenty of time for a Dixie League softball tournament scheduled there in July.

That will be the first of a year’s lineup of tournaments the county has already booked for facilities it hasn’t yet completed. Several other tournaments are scheduled on the park’s ball fields this summer and into October.

Then the soccer tournaments start at Stables Park in Litchfield. It has tournaments booked for Oct. 20-21 and 28-29 and April 13-14 and 20-21.

An adult soccer tournament is set for January, but the site hasn’t been determined. Coach pitch/machine pitch and 3V3 soccer tournaments are also booked, and there has been talk about lacrosse.

It’s a promising start for projects the county hoped would bring dollars and visitors to the area through tournaments.

“It’s amazing. We’ve been trying to get the word out on what we’re doing and it’s catching on,” said Beth Goodale, county director of recreation. “People really want to come to our area and that means hotel room stays, restaurant meals and purchases at local businesses.”

Now the county just has to make sure projects stay on target and worry about making sure the events run smoothly. Staff is already working to line up volunteers and sponsors for the introductory tournaments at Eight Oaks, the Dixie Softball Darlings & Angels World Series and the Dixie Youth “O” Zone State Tournaments.

The county is seeking host families for visiting teams, and help with opening ceremonies, players banquets, preparation of souvenir bags, parking and admission, and score board operation. For information, call 545-3319.

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Work on parks and recreation facilities being constructed throughout the county is on schedule, according to a report County Council members received this week.

At Stables Park, work is still in the early stages. Site work has started for the soccer facilities and tennis courts (which should eventually bring in more tournaments).

The report gave updates on each project and its budget. A few individual projects are over budget, including baseball fields at Eight Oaks and Olive Park in Andrews, field renovations and tennis courts in Choppee, and baseball and tennis facilities at Pleasant Hill Park.

But overall, projects should come in under budget. The county budged $31.5 million, but the cost is estimated to be closer to $31.3 million.

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