Mayor Harrell opens league seasons

Published 4:00 pm Tuesday, March 31, 2009

With more than 800 teeball league, little league baseball and softball league youngsters looking on Monday night at Bill Reynolds Sports Park’s No. 2 Complex, Bainbridge Mayor Mark Harrell threw out the first baseball and softball, officially beginning the Bainbridge Leisure Services Department summer seasons.

The mayor’s baseball throw was caught by Will Kelley, son of Leisure Services Director Al and Janie Kelley and a member of the Georgia Power baseball team. Harrell’s softball throw was caught by Gabby Griffin, daughter of John Dixon and Beverly Reed, and a member of the Forsyth Insurance softball team.

Also during the ceremonies, Glistening Clean softball team member Tiffany Kouts, daughter of Tevis Kouts and Vanessa Safer and a junior at Bainbridge High School where she is a choral student, sang the National Anthem.

Before throwing out the pitches, Mayor Harrell, Bainbridge Leisure Service Director Kelley and Leisure Services program director Diane Atkinson expressed their appreciation to the coaches, team mothers, and other volunteers and sponsors.

“It takes a lot of hard work by dedicated people like Al Kelley, Diane Atkinson and others to make the summer youth league programs we are celebrating tonight possible,” Harrell said.

Kelley expressed his appreciation to the mayor and city council members Roslyn Palmer, Luther Conyers and Edward Reynolds, who were present for the occasion, for the strong dedication to recreation that they and the other members of city council have shown.

“These people are all about recreation,” Kelley said. “All you have to do is look at what’s going on across the way to see that.”

Kelley was referring to the third phase of the Bill Reynolds Sports Park Complex, which is currently being developed off Cox Avenue. It will include six baseball/softball fields, eight basketball courts and two multi-purpose fields.

Atkinson urged the players to work hard and do their best in practice and games.

“We want you to have fun and enjoy a great season,” she said as she introduced each team and they marched onto the field.

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