Sports

January 12, 2014

Chris Whitfield: Rec leagues soon to start for baseball and softball

As the Georgia General Assembly begins its 40-day session today, political columnists, Republican leaders and newspaper editorials will call for limits on government. Whether those proclamations have merit or are detrimental to the community is a debate for another section of the paper.

But one of the things that government does well — especially on the local level here in Dalton and Whitfield County — is recreation. From outdoor activities for young and old to competitive leagues for our next wave of statewide elite, both the Whitfield County Recreation Department and the Dalton Parks and Recreation Department do a wonderful job of providing parents with avenues to get their children active and interactive with other kids from across the community.

The late winter and early spring bring with them one of the biggest times of the year for recreation officials with the beginning of the baseball and softball seasons. Both the WCRD and DPRD will begin registration for the leagues today.

Whitfield County will offer leagues for ages 4-14 for both boys and girls. The age control date for boys is their age before May 1, while the girls will play in leagues based on their age Jan. 1.

In baseball, Whitfield County will offer tee ball for ages 4/5 and coach pitch for ages 6-9. Older leagues will be live arm. In softball, tee ball is offered for 4-6 and coach pitch for 7/8. Older leagues will be live arm. Teams will be divided by school zones, and the number of teams is determinant on the number of participants in each division.

The cost for participating in the WCRD is $25 with a $1.75 convenience fee for those paying with a credit card. Registration can be done in person at the WCRD offices or online at playwcrd.com.

Dalton will offer leagues for ages 4-14 for baseball and 4-16 for softball. Tee ball leagues will be offered for for ages 4/5 and 6 in both softball and baseball. For ages 7/8, pitching machines will be used in baseball and softball will be played with coaches pitching. Live arm pitching in both softball and baseball will played in the older leagues, and all teams will be drafted.

There is no cost to participate in the DPRD league, and registration is online at mydprd.com or at either the James Brown or Mack Gaston Community Centers.

• Rather than looking ahead, let’s look back at Friday’s high school basketball clash between Dalton and Northwest Whitfield. Specifically, a shout out to the fans.

A packed parking lot left the nearest spots in the street, and the stands inside Dalton High’s gymnasium were about as filled as it ever could be. Props to those who showed up — and turned up — for the girls and boys games, with Northwest’s Lady Bruins taking the former and Dalton’s Catamounts taking the latter.

Also, a special props to Dalton’s student section. A group of six or seven boys led the Catamounts faithful in the front row. One said they were the best fans “in the entire Southeast.”

The Southeast?

“Southeast United States!”

Hold on, now. Let’s not go too far.

But they did well — as did Northwest’s student section — in making Friday an enjoyable atmosphere.

• This week is a big one for local high school sports teams — and not just on the basketball court. Northwest’s hoops teams have another local rivalry up next when the Bruins and Lady Bruins host Southeast Whitfield on Tuesday. The girls start at 6 p.m. and the boys follow. That precedes Friday when Southeast hosts Dalton for a 7 p.m. beginning to the girls game.

But there’s also important stuff happening on the wrestling mat and in the swimming pool. Coahulla Creek, Dalton, Murray County, North Murray, Northwest and Southeast come together Tuesday at Dalton High’s gym for the annual Conasauga Cup. The event begins at 5 p.m.

Then Coahulla Creek, Dalton, Northwest, and Southeast meet Friday at Dalton High’s pool for the annual North Georgia Regionals. The meet concludes Saturday.

Also on Saturday — swapping back to wrestling — is the Murray Invitational starting at 5 p.m. The annual meet will include Coahulla Creek, Dalton, Morris Innovative, Murray County and Southeast.

• The Saints are out of the playoffs, so fellow sports writer Devin Golden won’t make us suffer any longer with his obnoxiousness. Who dat? Apparently, the Seahawks.

Chris Whitfield is a sports writer for The Daily Citizen. Have something you think we should mention in “A Look Ahead?” Contact him at chriswhitfield@daltoncitizen.com.

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