Newton County Parks and Recreation introduced little league just four years ago and now for the first time it will be hosting a little league district tournament at City Pond Complex June 28 with the earliest game starting at 10 a.m.
The tournament will be composed of three different age brackets including the 9/10 year olds, 10/11 year olds and 11/12 year olds. There is also a fourth age group of 15/16 year olds, but instead of playing at City Pond they will play at Eastside High School on Saturday.
“This is just the beginning of these teams having the opportunity – if they were to win enough games – to go to Williamsport,” Dwayne Mask, Newton County Recreation Administrator, said.
Williamsport, Pennsylvania is the site of the Little League World Series that hosts nine different little league tournaments beginning July 23.
There are five counties competing in this district including: Newton County, Gainesville County, Walton County, Athens County and Oconee County. The winner of each respective tournament will advance to state as the state winner will advance to regionals and the region champion will advance to the Little League World Series.
The 15/16 year olds are comprised of three teams from Oconee, Athens and Walton. They will play Saturday through Tuesday.
Last year Newton had an 11/12 team that won district and went to state. They had to beat Athens in the championship game.
“Athens and Oconee are usually the two stronger that’ll be pretty tough for [Newton] to get by,” Mask said.
With this being Newton’s first time hosting a district tournament, they’re hoping for a good showing that will allow them to get a bid to host the state tournament next year.
“It’s something new for us and it’s something we’re excited about. For the purpose of everybody knows little league baseball,” Mask said. “I think it’s something good for the community and we are hoping next year our district will be available to host the state tournament. The winner of the state tournament goes to southeast regional which is only one more step from Williamsport.”
“We’re hoping to get our foot in the door this year and maybe next year have a good opportunity to put in a bid to host the state tournament.”