Rec. Commission hosts state tourney

COVINGTON - Newton County will host the Dixie Youth Majors Georgia State Championship Tournament for 11- and 12-year olds from July 18 to 25.

Sixteen teams, amounting to more than 250 players and coaches, are expected to participate, and they'll bring their pocketbooks with them.

Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce President John Boothby said events that draw so many out-of-towners definitely have an economic impact, but added that he couldn't put a dollar amount on it.

"The hotels and restaurants and people that sell gasoline definitely see an uptick when these kinds of events come to town," Boothby said. "It's a very good thing ... We're very thankful to get new money from outside Newton County."

Players and their families will receive informational packets that include the names of local restaurants.

"The way the economy is right now, I think we can use any kind of spike we can get," Recreation Commission Director Tommy Hailey said.

Hosting duties rotate between the districts, though some decline to participate. Hailey said the Newton County Recreation Commission is always willing to be involved, adding that it's a positive event for the community.

Local residents and officials often come out to watch the games, he said.

"The last time it was packed. Anytime we put on a tournament, the locals come out and watch the games. I think the local politicians get excited about it, because I always see them out there," he said.

The tournament will take place at City Pond Complex, beginning at 10 a.m. July 18, with opening ceremonies scheduled for 5 p.m. that day on Field 1.

The winner of the tournament will advance to the Dixie Boys World Series in Mississippi.

Tickets are $15 for a tournament pass and $5 per game for ages 6 and older. Children under age 6 get in free.

The Recreation Commission is also hosting the Dixie Boys State Tournament for 13-year-olds July 11 to 14. Four teams will participate, with the winner heading to the World Series in Alabama.

For more information on the tournaments, call the Recreation Commission at 770-786-4373.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.