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Optimist Park to host Dixie Youth State Tournament Featured

Optimist Park to host Dixie Youth State Tournament

Look out restaurants!  This weekend and through the middle of next week, baseball teams from all over Florida will be converging at Optimist Park for the Ozone, AAA ‘B’, and AAA Traditional State Tournaments.  City of Marianna Recreation Director Clay Wells says there are 24 teams scheduled to participate in the three state events.   Each team is travels and participates with 12 players and three coaches. It doesn’t take long for the slowest of math whizzes to add up 360 visitors to Marianna and Jackson County.  

Calls to local hotels in Marianna said business was booming and they had been booking rooms for weeks and it feels great to be at capacity.  Restaurants are gearing up for hungry ball players in route to and from games throughout the weekend and through Wednesday, and possibly Thursday depending on how the teams fare in tournament play.  Other local attractions like Blue Springs, the Caverns Park, and Kindel Lanes can expect an increase in activity with teams looking for ‘down time’ activities.  

There are six teams participating in the Dixie Youth AAA Minors tournament with Marianna having the only Jackson County team playing.  West Volusia, Holmes County, South Sumpter, Sebring, and Spring Hill American make out the remaining teams.  Marianna will take the field at 2 p.m. Saturday for their first game.  The state champion will advance to the World Series in August.

Eight teams will be vying for the state championship in the Dixie Youth AAA Minors ‘B’ Division.  Cottondale is the sole Jackson County team but will be looking knock off Liberty County, Desota County, Fort Meade, Chipley, Shalimar, Franklin County, and Blountstown in their state title quest.  

In the Ozone league, three Jackson County teams will be competing against seven out of county competitors.  Graceville, Marianna, and Sneads will be looking to compete against each other and Spring Hill American, Sebring, Chipley, Spring Hill National, Franklin County, Desota, and Liberty County.  The state winner advances to the Worlds Series in August.

The opening ceremonies will be held Friday night at Marianna High School. The players and coaches will be served an evening meal and will have an opportunity to win prizes, be given welcoming goodie bags.  Chipola College athletic director and head baseball coach Jeff Johnson will be the guest speaker at the opening banquet.  Players from nine to 12 years old will get to rub elbows with the National Championship coach. 

Head out to the ballpark Saturday for some awesome baseball at Optimist Park in Marianna.  Games are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on all fields.  

 

Ozone Schedule:

  • Liberty County vs Desota 9:00 a.m.
  • Fort Meade vs Chipley 11:30 a.m.
  • Shalimar vs Franklin County 2 p.m.
  • Cottondale vs Blountstown 4:30
  • AAA Tradition
  • West Volusia vs Holmes County 9 a.m.
  • South Sumpter vs Sebring 11:30
  • Spring Hill American vs Marianna 2 p.m.
  • AAA ‘B’ Division
  • Liberty County vs Desota County 9 a.m.
  • Fort Meade vs Chipley 11:30 a.m.
  • Shalimar vs Franklin County 2 p.m.
  • Cottondale vs. Blountstown 4:30 p.m.
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