Sallisaw has won!
The Sallisaw Youth League has won the bidding war for the OK Kids Pee Wee State Tournament. The tournament will be held at the Sallisaw Sports Complex from July 11 through 15.
“It’s a big deal,” said Frank Sullivan III. “We’ve been working hard to get a tournament like that.”
Sullivan serves on the Sallisaw Youth League Board of Directors. He said the league had to bid the maximum, $5,000, to get the tournament. But it was well worth it.
He explained eight teams, with players ages 9, 10 and 11, will participate, and one of those teams will serve as the host team. The teams will, of course, be accompanied by parents, siblings, grandparents and “people who just like to watch good baseball.”
The league plans to welcome them with open arms.
“We plan to do an official program, and showcase the Sallisaw area,” Sullivan said. “We want to make it nice for the kids and their fans.”
He said the league plans to post banners, perhaps have special lanyards made, and will be making other plans.
“If we treat them well, we will get more tournaments,” Sullivan said.
One of the plans underway is to add more shade to the Sports Complex, where a July tournament could be extremely hot. But the facility itself was a deciding factor in where the tournament was to be held.
Sullivan said, “I heard is was a pretty close competition. The deciding factor, I was told, was the proximity of Interstate 40 only a quarter mile away, and our facility with its new, pristine, well-manicured fields. The fields are like a golf course. We’re working on a lot of little things.”
Sullivan said the Youth League members work in crews at the complex - a gate crew, a concession crew, an umpire crew, and field maintenance – to keep the facility pristine.
“The City of Sallisaw has the field looking great for us,” Sullivan said. “There are lots of things to get ready, and we will need volunteers.”
Sullivan and Treye Girdner, Sallisaw Youth League president, said the tournament is the result of hard work on the part of many.
Girdner said, “It’s an exciting time for the city and the Sports Complex, and the people who worked so hard. This is the fulfillment of the promises made over the years.”
Sullivan concluded, “This is the culmination of a lot of hard work on the part of a lot of people who started 10 years ago. We owe a pat on the back to those who had the foresight to get this going 10 years ago.
“Now we’ve got to do it right so the people will keep coming back.”
For more information on the Sallisaw Youth League visit sallisawyouthleague.com.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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