The Dart: Vidalia Dixie Youth head does little bit of everything

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 9, 2005

VIDALIA, La. &045; At first glance, you’d never know the man ascending the ladder was the president of the Vidalia Dixie Youth Baseball League.

Instead, you’d just think he was another volunteer changing the bulbs in the center ballfield’s scoreboard.

But that’s just it &045; Mike Bowlin does consider himself another volunteer, one of about 20 to 30 parents, coaches and other volunteers he said keep the league afloat, not him.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;My father said when I took this job, ‘Get yourself a good board and a lot of help and you’ll do all right,&uot; he said.

And Mike might do well to listen closely to his advisor &045; because his father, Clarence Bowlin, has been president of the Dixie Youth league in Natchez for decades.

Naming his father, Mike smiles in pride.

&uot;He’s the reason I got into this,&uot; he said.

The fact that his son was playing T-ball when he started didn’t hurt, either.

But the reasons Mike has volunteered with the league for 13 years, the last six as president, are also many.

For one thing, there are the many volunteers he said work to keep the league running, doing anything that’s needed.

That sentence also describes Mike, who performed several tasks &045; from helping with practice to changing scoreboard bulbs to reattaching a sign to a fence with pipe cleaners &045; on Sunday afternoon.

&uot;I do everything from finding flags to put up (on the fields’ flagpoles) to making sure everybody’s rounded up,&uot; Mike said with a smile.

Such hands-on work is perhaps needed to keep a league of almost 220 5- to 12-year-olds running smoothly.

Not only that, but the 15 to 20 hours Mike spends each week on Dixie Youth work also includes the pitching and coaching he does with girls’ teams in the Natchez Dixie Youth League. However, he doesn’t seem to mind.

Above all, he said, &uot;I’m doing it for the kids.&uot;