Published 10:00 pm Thursday, July 4, 2013

TPRD, Sportsplex prep for O-Zone State Tournament

A famous line from a baseball movie said “If you build it, they will come.”

The staff of the Troy Pars and Recreation Department is taking that to heart as they transform the playing surfaces from softball to baseball fields. The Troy Sportsplex hosted the Dixie Softball District Tournament over the past few days, and now face a two-week turnaround before the Dixie O-Zone Alabama State Tournament opens.

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Sixteen teams from across the state of Alabama, including the host-team Troy, will converge on the ball fields on Enzor Road to do battle for just one berth in to the Dixie O-Zone World Series in Laurel, Miss.

Troy Parks and Recreation Director Dan Smith said that he and his staff take pride in hosting tournaments.

“It seems like every year we are fortunate enough to host a state tournament or World Series,” Smith said. “We know our names and reputation is on the line every time, and we work hard to make the tournaments a memorable experience for the players, coaches and parents.”

To transform the fields to baseball diamonds, the fences must be adjusted and made deeper, as well as the addition of pitching mounds to the playing surface.

The grounds crew of the Troy Parks and Recreation are in the midst of making the changes, as well as battling the wet weather. Your Sports Director David Dickey said that the workers are used to making the changes coming off the heels of a rain soaked weekend for the Dixie Softball District Tournament.

“I told them that this tournament will get them a peak at what is to come with the O-Zone,” said Dickey. “We saw some things we need to work on, but as a whole we are ready to go.”

Smith said that one of the reason’s he and his staff put in so much effort, and take so much pride in  to hosting the tournament, is the lasting effect the events have on the participants.

“This could be the only state tournament some of these young men ever play in,” Smith said. “Some will go on to play in a bunch, but others will have their only shot here.  We want to not only meet their expectations, but surpass them.”