NHS hosts softball event

Published 12:01 am Sunday, June 26, 2011

Natchez High School’s head football coach Lance Reed hits the ball during the Blue and Gold Softball Extravaganza Saturday afternoon at Chester Willis Field. (Eric Shelton \ The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Natchez High School head football coach Lance Reed ripped a line drive to left center field, but settled for a double.

“No wheels,” Reed said.

If Reed had just a little more speed to his name, he likely could have made it to third base standing up. But Reed would later come home to score, and he said he’s mainly just playing for pleasure.

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“It’s fun,” Reed said. “They guys are having a good time.”

Reed, along with several other Natchez High coaches and a number of Bulldog football players, were competing in the Annual Blue and Gold Softball Extravaganza Saturday. The Natchez High School Touchdown Club hosted the event, which took place at Natchez High’s Chester Willis Field. It featured several softball teams that competed throughout the event and helped raise funds for the football team.

“We try to do whatever we can to help send these kids off to (football) camp,” Natchez High Touchdown Club President Larry Brown said. “It’s all about the team, not the booster club. We have a good group of kids.”

Brown said he hopes the event, and other fundraising events the touchdown club puts on throughout the year, will help attract new members.

“We try to do (fundraising events) throughout the year,” Brown said. “We had a gas drive, and we had a car wash last week.”

Even with students generally having more time in the summer, Brown said it’s not necessarily easier to have fundraising events while the students are out of school.

“A lot of parents, when school’s out, think that’s it,” Brown said. “What they need to understand is, when school starts back up, you need to have money to set back up.”

Reed said he’s extremely thankful for the money the touchdown club has helped raise for his team over the years.

“They’re big supporters, and with the budget cuts, there are a lot of things they’ll have to step up with, and they’ve done a great job,” Reed said.

Senior cornerback George Minor competed on Natchez High’s team Saturday, and he said enjoyed participating in the event.

“Besides getting hot and trying to stay cool, I just got a walk,” Minor said. “It’s really about just having fun and participating with the community.”

Minor said he’s looking forward to his senior season, and he said he expects the Bulldogs to come out strong at the start.

“We’re working hard, and all the kids are coming out early for summer workouts,” Minor said. “We’re really committed to the season.”

T.M. Jennings Little League, the Natchez Falcons youth football, The Paperdolls and Miss-Lou Connections all had softball teams compete at the event, in addition to the Natchez High players and coaches.