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Let the games begin!

As the sun began to set Friday night, over 700 girls and boys made their way into Movie Gallery Veterans Stadium as the Opening Ceremonies took place.

In all, 57 different baseball and softball teams were each individually introduced to everyone at had.

“This is a very special occasion, said Parks and recreation director Dan Smith to the crowd at Movie Gallery Veteran Stadium Friday night.

The event last close to 45 minutes and included a few words from Troy City Councilman, Charlie “Sarge” Dunn.

“It’s hard to measure how important it is for young people to have something to do like baseball and softball,” Dunn said about recreation sports after the event.

“Hopefully, things like this will help them keep going in a good direction.

“All kids need something to occupy their time,” he added.

However, before the event could take place, there were many hours spent getting the season ready.

“A lot of hours went into this,” Youth Sports Coordinator David Dickey said.

“The biggest thing each year is picking up the teams and then after that, we have to pick the names and the colors of each team, we have to order the jerseys and find sponsors for each club.

“There is a lot that goes into making this happen,” he added.

But in the end, watching the excitement of the kids is all worth it, according to Dickey.

“It all pays off while watching those kids play and seeing how excited they are.

“That’s what this job is all about – now, its time to have some fun,” he added.

Now, with the introductions taken care of, there is only one thing left to do – play ball.

Most of the teams will be in action on opening day, which takes place today.

“The girls are excited,” said Robin Synder, who is coaching the Blue Jays softball team in the Angels league.

“This is great event and it is pretty special for all the teams to get recognized like this – I think it is a good thing for them.

“We are all excited to get started – we always have a lot of fun on the field,” the coach added.