From the player perspective, one of the best parts of making the roster of a Dixie all-star squad hosting the state tournament is a free pass through sub-district and district play.
But it also puts pressure on the home team to prove it belongs in the tournament to avoid being looked at as filler for the bracket. Every other team at state has to earn their way there unless it is from a district with just one all-star team in that age group.
Moncks Corner was on center stage July 13-17 and three of its Dixie all-star softball teams more than held their own when the recreation department hosted four state tournaments. None made it through with a ticket to a Dixie World Series but they had strong runs.
The Moncks Corner Ponytails (12U) and Debs (19U) finished second in their age group while the Angels (10U) also advanced to the final day and tied for second place. All three of those were at the regional recreation complex on East Main Street while the Darlings (8U) played at the old field on Water Plant Road.
“It really starts with our parents being dedicated to the town of Moncks Corner Recreation Department, along with our coaches and volunteers who take pride in what they do,” Moncks Corner Recreation Director Becky Ellison said. “They have a great relationship. In order to have a successful recreation department, you have to have volunteers. We are blessed to have the staff we have.”
In all, Moncks Corner hosted 29 teams and more than 400 all-stars. Opening ceremonies for the tournaments were July 12.
“It had a great economic impact for not only our town but our community as well,” Ellison said. “Our job in recreation is making memories for children. This is a memory these girls will have for a lifetime.”
Foot traffic at the two all-star sites was in the thousands, she figured, and it took a team effort to keep things flowing smoothly.
“This event isn’t just recreation,” she said. “It’s public service. It’s fire department. It’s police department. It’s community development. Every department at town hall is involved in planning this.”
Something even bigger is in the works. Maybe two summers from now, softball all-stars from Moncks Corner will get an even further push forward in the Dixie pipeline.
Moncks Corner is putting in a bid to host four Dixie Softball World Series tournaments in the summer of 2021.
In September, Ellison will travel to Tennessee to make Moncks Corner’s case for hosting the Darlings, Angels, Belles (15U) and Debs.
“The way they talk, we should know very soon after that,” Ellison said. “It would be 44 teams.”
States that play Dixie Softball are South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.