By Nathaniel Frazier/Media General News Service
After a two year hiatus, the Alabama Community College state baseball tournament is returning to southeast Alabama. While the host team is the same, the host city has changed.
Wallace Community will host the tournament in May 2010, but instead of being played in Dothan, it will be held in Ozark. All of the games will be played at Eagle Stadium.
?Wallace is a regional school,? Wallace president Dr. Linda Young said in making the announcement at a Thursday afternoon press conference. ?The city of Ozark stepped forward to help us bring the tournament back to the area and we greatly appreciate their support."
It?s clear this tournament means a lot to the city of Ozark. During most such announcements, it is attended by coaches, leisure service personnel, and other sports figures. But Ozark Mayor Billy Blackwell felt this was important enough for him to attend.
?We appreciate the opportunity given the city of Ozark to partner with Wallace College,? Blackwell said. ?This gives us the opportunity to showcase historic Eagle Stadium. We have a lot of assets in Ozark that are under utilized. We want to establish Ozark as a destination place for lots of events?not just baseball.?
One other thing was evident during the Thursday news conference. New Leisure Services Director Steve Sherrer is already paying dividends for Ozark. After spending years with Dothan?s Leisure Services, Sherrer has lots of experience running tournaments?including the junior college tournament.
?That?s one of the things that made our decision so easy,? said Wallace Dean of Students Mark Shope. ?Steve has lots of experience and has worked well with us in the past. We knew the quality of his work.?
?I am honored that Ozark was given this opportunity,? Sherer said. ?This (junior college tournament) is one of the most prestigious baseball tournaments in Alabama and we will treat it that way. It will get a number one billing.?
?This isn?t just another baseball tournament,? Wallace coach Mackey Sasser said. ?This tournament features some of the best baseball talent in the country. That?s why it was so important for us to bring this tournament back to this area. I hope everyone will come out and support this event.?