T.M. Jennings league preps for tourney

Published 1:05 am Thursday, July 8, 2010

NATCHEZ — T.M. Jennings is in a fight against the rain, in hopes of getting its All-Star games in before the elements have their way.

The T.M. Jennings All-Star tournament is set for Friday and Saturday, and with rain in the weekend forecast, the league is planning a doubleheader Saturday to try and get the games in early.

League director Eric Fry said the Friday games would start at 6 p.m. On Saturday, the first game of the doubleheader will be in the morning, and the second game at 6 p.m.

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“With the weather like it is, we want to try and get all the games in as early as possible. The time of the morning game (Saturday) will be decided according to the weather,” Fry said.

“The winner of the tournament (in each age group) will travel to the Mississippi coast for the state tournament July 23.”

T.M. Jennings 9- and 10-year-old All-Stars and 11- and -12-year-old All-Stars will take on the Laurel and Hattiesburg teams from the same age groups. Frazier Field will host the tournament, and both age groups will have games being played simultaneously each day.

Fry said interest in the T.M. Jennings, which is a Little League affiliate, has picked up this year, and credited community support with allowing it to flourish.

“Mostly every town has their own Little League team. It’s a good thing for the community, and it’s always a plus to get all these kids around,” Fry said.

“We had (approximately) 180 kids this year, so we grew in numbers and had more participation than last year. I want to thank the community, coaches and staff for their contributions, because everyone’s doing their part.

“The program is growing, because everything is better now. More participation makes all the difference. The more adults you have involved, the more participation you have all around.”

And with more participation comes greater numbers from outside the area.

“We’re bringing money into the town because of the tournaments, and that’s why we’re all for recreation. We’re just trying to grow,” he said.