Outside the lines: Rains cant wash out community spirit

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 11, 2007

With the much needed rain continuing through the morning Saturday, the District 4 Dixie Youth Minor championship game&8217;s 3 p.m. start time was up in the air. It was clear that it would take some hard work to get the field playable after the rain, as hope remained that no more dark clouds were headed toward Wilsonville.

Once the four to five-man crew prepared the field for a 4:45 start time, the clouds opened up again for another hour delay, this time dumping equal ammounts of water, if not more, on the diamond than the morning showers did.

Despite being covered with a tarp, home plate was a three foot wide mud puddle. The pitcher&8217;s rubber sat on top of the mound like an elevation marker on top of an island mountain, as water surrounded its base. The infield was marshy and the base paths looked in some places like an ariel view of the Mississippi River delta.

Parents and grandparents stood around wondering if the field would even begin to be prepared in time to get one game played.

&8220;I don&8217;t believe they can get this field ready,&8221; said one fan. &8220;There&8217;s just too much water.&8221;

However the five man crew tripled in size, as they were determined to not let Newman Memorial Swamp keep the boys of Thomasville and Shelby County from taking the field.

&8220;We&8217;re going to get at least one of these in tonight,&8221; said one of the original field workers.

The drive of these parents and friends of the baseball program helped paint the picture of community that continued through the night. And from my understanding the same has been the case for the past two weeks, as this team of 9 and 10 year olds has banded the communities of Wilsonville, Shelby and Columbiana together through sport.

I have seen my share of parents who try to run youth baseball with screaming voices and bulging veins while knowing not what they are trying to instruct, but none of that was in the air Saturday. This team&8217;s instant bond and friendship, which was very obvious following the game, has helped bring a winning attitude.

Coaches may say that attitude comes through their conditioning of learning togetherness while praying as a team twice a game