Thursday, April 27, 2006
City park alive
I wasn’t fortunate enough to know Sam Coopwood.
But I feel certain the late mayor of Holly Springs would be proud of all the recent activity at the park named in his honor.
Holly Springs Dizzy Dean hosted the Marshall County Preseason Baseball and Softball Tournament at Sam Coopwood Park on Highway 4 East. The tourney wraps up this week.
All four ball fields at the complex were occupied. The parking lots were full. Parents and grandparents were lined up outside the fences, watching the youngsters play, clapping and cheering.
The people came from all parts of our county – Byhalia, Potts Camp, Holly Springs and surrounding communities.
It was Marshall County Dizzy Dean’s success story at its best.
It was Sam Coopwood Park as it should be in the spring and summer months.
This league and this park are all about our children.
There was no organized baseball in Arkansas while Dizzy Dean was growing up and he was denied the opportunity to play baseball as a young boy. It was Dizzy Dean’s dream that one day every young person would have the opportunity to play baseball.
Dizzy Dean baseball, first and foremost, is about having fun.
“We must continue to make baseball a fun game without placing undue pressure and stress on our youth,” said Danny Phillips, commissioner, from Hernando. “Our youth come first, winning second. When you build the character in a youth, you build a winner.”
This Marshall County league is also about unity, bringing together children and families from throughout our county. It’s tearing down walls. If we want harmony, it must start with our youth.
In my five years in Holly Springs, I’ve never seen the facilities at Sam Coopwood Park so busy. Several have told me “how it used to be.”
Hopefully, what we saw last week will become the norm. If you’re not a part of Marshall County Dizzy Dean, join us. This program is for all youth. And we always need adult volunteers. We want this league to grow.
The fields at Sam Coopwood Park looked great, and they were alive.
Hats off to City of Holly Springs workers for their valuable assistance, particularly Landy Hurdle and his crew. Landy went above and beyond the call of duty.
He had the fields in tip-top shape each day.
He was there before 8 a.m. Saturday, working tirelessly to get the muddy fields ready to play on by 1 p.m. that afternoon. And he stayed until the last game was over that night.
Much applause must go to Lisa Shaw, president of Holly Springs Dizzy Dean. She was the backbone of this tournament. She was there early and stayed late, every single day. She held it all together.
There are many others who helped make this tournament a success. You know who you are – from the coaches to the umpires to the scorekeepers to the concession stand workers – pat yourselves on the back.
I was involved a few years back, in the initial meetings that led to the formation of Marshall County Dizzy Dean. I couldn’t be more proud today.
I urge the Holly Springs mayor and board of aldermen to support the efforts of the Dizzy Dean league and to take a serious look at upgrades to Sam Coopwood Park in the near future.
With things like new fencing, more lighting and working scoreboards on all fields, this park could be one of the nicest anywhere.
The improvements to the football field this past season were much-needed and welcome.
Such improvements are about building pride in our young people - pride in our city.
And we also want to leave a good impression on our visitors. We want them to come back again and speak highly of Holly Springs.
(662) 252-4261 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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