Little leagues get rolling

Published 9:35 pm Friday, April 3, 2009

Saturday marks the return of the little boys, and little girls, of summer as more than 1,500 children ages 3-12 will fill local ball parks to participate in youth league baseball and softball games.

Chilton County is split into four leagues: Clanton baseball, Clanton softball, North Chilton baseball and North Chilton softball. North Chilton softball held its opening day one week ago, but the other three leagues will begin play today.

“We were supposed to have opening day last weekend, but we didn’t because of the rain,” Jeff Price, Clanton Dixie Youth League president, said. “We decided to kind of have a redo this weekend.”

The North Chilton Softball League, which, like its baseball counterpart, includes Isabella, Jemison, Maplesville, Thorsby and West End teams, played despite the rain.

“It was going to be a double elimination, but we had to make it single elimination because of the rain,” league president Brian “Bucky” Jackson said.

The Jemison Little Lady Panthers won the 6-and-under division, the Thorsby Little Lady Rebels won the 8-and-under division, the Jemison Red Hots won the 10-and-under division and the Jemison Crush won the 12-and-under division.

Clanton baseball will begin play with T-ball games at 11 a.m. at City Park. Clanton softball will host Calera teams beginning at 10:30 a.m. at City Park.

“I’ve always wondered why we haven’t played teams in the surrounding areas,” said Hunter Burnett, the league’s first-year president. “Maybe this will be beneficial to the girls when we get to the end of the year.”

Jemison’s park will host the North Chilton Baseball League’s opening tournament beginning at 9 a.m. Close to 50 teams and 1,000 players will participate in the tournament.