3 hits from the latest DYB tourney in Dunn

By DONNELL COLEY
Posted 7/19/22

A summer in Dunn is never truly complete without marker-stained vans and SUVs filling the parking lots at Tyler Park while the next wave of young stars showcase their talents on crispy-lined fields. …

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3 hits from the latest DYB tourney in Dunn

Joe Edwards performs the national anthem ahead of a DYB tournament game July 13 at Tyler Park.
Joe Edwards performs the national anthem ahead of a DYB tournament game July 13 at Tyler Park.
Daily Record Photo/ Donnell Coley
Posted

A summer in Dunn is never truly complete without marker-stained vans and SUVs filling the parking lots at Tyler Park while the next wave of young stars showcase their talents on crispy-lined fields.

This year’s Dixie Youth Baseball Division 2 state tournaments were yet another reminder of what we gain when sacrificing our personal endeavors for the greater good.

Smiles were shined, tears were shed and pants were muddied — all in the name of respectful competition.

Here’s three takeaways that allowed Dunn to claim another home run this past week.   

Support staff

A multi-state organization such as Dixie Youth only allows a select few to host its events each year.

It’s no surprise that the City of Dunn Parks and Recreation Department continues to get the call up to the big show.

Parks and rec director Brian McNeill and his staff deserve every bit of adulation thrown their way each summer.

The sweat-dripping fieldwork of Chris Monk, Marilyn Gilbert and Ken Stephenson.

The sound scorekeeping and insightful entertainment from Joe and Phyllis Edwards.

The logistical mastery from Nyda Byrd and Dominique Smith.

Every link of the Dunn P&R chain strongly intertwines with the next, forming one of the most unbreakable operations North Carolina has to offer.

Teams from as far as Mount Holly and Southport were able to see this machine in motion, and were among those who continued to praise McNeill’s staff despite scorching temperatures and nightly rainfall.    

Stellar skills 

For all the work being done behind the scenes, there was plenty to gawk at after the first pitch was thrown.

Whether it was the resilient host teams, the individual brilliance of West Duplin’s Hansley McGee, or the collective domination of Majors champion Bladen County, this year’s brackets produced remarkable competition.
Mount Holly and Bladen each went undefeated through their respective tournaments, but both had to fight off impressive counters from their opposition.

The diving catches, windshield-smashing homers and glove-busting strikeouts made for an eventful six days of non-stop action.

Sportsmanship

One of the more impressive feats throughout the entire event didn’t occur during a game, but rather afterward.

When Dunn’s AAA All-Stars were eliminated from play Wednesday, Town Creek was less boastful and more compassionate — high-fiving (and some) hugging the visibly distraught host team players. Both teams sealed the seminal moment with a collective group huddle, and a “1-2-3 BASEBALL!” cheer that perfectly summarized what youth sports should be about.

Town Creek rightfully won the sportsmanship award to accompany its runner-up trophy, effortlessly showcasing the intersection of talent and class.

Though the conclusion of another DYB cycle means summer is nearing its final days and interscholastic athletics are soon to dominate the headlines, let us not forget what valuable lessons from this year’s event that we can take with us into the fall.

Donnell Coley is The Daily Record sports editor and can be reached at dcoley@mydailyrecord.com or 910-230-2040.

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